Wednesday, January 30, 2013

HG Diary: 39 weeks

36 weeks and enjoying unseasonably warm weather.  I promise we're cuddling and I'm not attempting to smother her.

37 weeks and ready for bed

38 weeks in a clean but streaky mirror.

38 week *bare* belly while reclining, the scratches on the right are from a run in with a very sweet and excited great dane.

38 weeks and ready for bed...again.  I look like I live in a perpetual state of sleep preparedness... because I do.

Almost 39 weeks here, shaking my fist at the full moon.  The myth about full moons inducing labor has been proven wrong twice with our babies.  Babies come when they are ready.

Well, it's official.  I am the most pregnant I've ever been!  We made it to 39 weeks!  I've been a little slacking in the pregnancy posts and pictures because even though it'll be fun to look back on one day they feel incredibly vain.  I still need a 39 week picture and we'll get around to it, but if I don't take time to get this post out now it may not happen.

So far:
37 weeks:
Well, I had met with one of the midwives who had told me on my 37 week visit I was totally effaced.  They normally don't do "checks" until 38 weeks, but Corey's farm grandparents needed some help on the farm, (the farm taking him out of the state for the weekend) so we wanted to make sure we weren't a little more progressed than maybe I was feeling.  I was told I wasn't dilated at all but totally effaced, so for Corey not to stay away long because things could change quickly.  I brought my hospital birth plan and after reading it the midwife just looked at me and smiled "so as natural as possible, that's totally doable!"  She then got out her little tape measure to see how many weeks I was measuring but after laying down and lifting my shirt to expose my gargantuan belly she said "let's skip this part" with a wink, knowing what a ridiculous measurement could mean for us. (Transfer to OB for a macrosomic baby).  I was grateful.  Fiona's heartbeat was a perfect steady 140 bpm and we were sent on our way feeling pretty darn good about the situation.

38 weeks:
Corey was only gone for one full night at the farm, he could have stayed longer but he came home citing he missed his girls. *swoon*  So later that week he was able to come with me to my appointment.  Different midwife for this visit.  Actually I had made arrangements to meet with a specific midwife that I wanted to touch base with but the girl at the check out managed to foul that one up.  So distressingly enough, we were meeting with the midwife who started this whole macrosomic, baby weight estimate nonsense in the first place.  I wasn't overly happy.
She was much more diligent about my exam, and it would turn out that I am only 50% effaced but I am now 1 cm dilated.  (1 cm doesn't mean a lot to me, I was 1 cm with Isabelle for weeks and weeks).  I was cringing when she pulled out her tape measure, flashing Corey a look of worry and he sent his "we'll deal with this, don't worry" look to me.  I laid down and behold!  I was measuring spot on at 38 weeks (previously measuring 43 weeks).  Praise the Lord, Fiona had dropped!
Two fabulous things happened next:

  • She had dropped! YAY!  This midwife could no longer make the argument about how large I was measuring.
  • It was discovered that Fiona's head has settled nicely into my pelvis, also relieving the midwife's fears that she would be too large to birth.

*cue the mental "I told you so"*
I felt slightly validated.  I haven't delivered yet so I'm not counting my eggs before they hatch but it's nice when I can feel that the midwife is starting to have the same amount of confidence that my body can handle something I felt it was made to do anyway.

and so here we are... drum roll....

39 weeks!
I won't have a midwife appointment until Friday.  I have been having strong false labor but nothing that gets rhythmic or sticks.  The braxton and hicks contractions are more frequent as well but totally manageable.  My biggest complaint would be that my SPD is excruciatingly painful.  Now that little miss has settled down into my pelvis, I'm having serious pain getting comfortable at night and at the end of the day walking is very painful as well.  Isabelle never "dropped" so I had never dealt with a baby resting on my sciatic nerve, that's a whole different type of pain.  I would describe that pain at more of a radiating shock that can occasionally make my right leg numb.  The SPD hip pain feels like my pelvis has been removed, ran over with Mack truck and put back in place shattered. (lovely image I know).  I make all of these pleasant clicking noises when I walk.  I have lost some of the weight I had managed to gain thanks to my HG kicking back up, but it's nothing like what it was for Isabelle so I'm not below my pre-pregnancy weight yet and it feels like smooth sailing for me.

We are closing in on the big day.  I'm still waiting for those false labor contractions to turn into "this is it!" but until then we're just taking it easy and enjoying our time as a little family of three.
Snoozing toddler while I work on some birthing ball practice.
Watching Daddy shave.

Just some girlie french manicures.

Knitting a few things for the big and little sister to be.

Dancing in the kitchen with Daddy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Dual Nursery Conundrum

As we inch closer to Fiona's arrival I've been looking back at the past 10 months and everything we've done in preparation.  It's easy to get wrapped up in the household changes, the unpacking of darling clothes saved from Isabelle, and even the assembly of new infant swings and cribs.  Yes, I said new crib, as in another crib purchased.

More important than all of that is the commitment we made once starting our little family - not to rush one child out of childhood simply because we are adding another .  During all of this hustle we have spent hours explaining and including Isabelle in the preparations for the new arrival.  Here is where I may contradict myself: I'm frugal.  I prefer to save where ever we can.  I don't find this to be a flaw but a life skill.  Something along the lines of "here today gone tomorrow".  Those who know this about me were wondering why we would order another crib, when Isabelle could move to a toddler bed and Fiona could use hers.  As a matter of fact, some people think it's silly for us to have prepared and furnished an entirely new nursery.

Well, here's the deal:
Corey and I made the decision to expand this family.  Our choice to do so does not make Isabelle age faster or become less of a baby in our eyes.  We decided that an addition of a new baby does not automatically thrust the older sibling into independence.

We discussed the changes and asked Isabelle what she felt she was ready for.
"Isabelle, you sleep in your crib, right now that's Isabelle's bed.  Would you like a big girl bed?"
"No, I like Isabelle's crib bed."


"Baby, when Fiona comes she'll be a small baby and will wear diapers.  Mama will have to change her diapers a lot."
"I'll help you!"
"Thank you sweet pea.  Well, Mama got you these big girl undies, would you like to try using the potty like a big girl?"
 And after a few days of practicing our potty skills...
"Mama, it's too hard."
"Don't worry baby, we'll practice later.  I'm proud of you for trying, such a big girl!"


I don't subscribe to the baby milestone race.  I'm not impressed by a child that can walk at 9 months or a use the potty before the age of two. Every child is different.  And I will not push or demand more from a child of mine than they are readily willing to try.  I will not rush our first baby, who will always be our baby, out of her comfort zone because we decided to make her an older sister.

So the cribs are assembled and the new nursery painted and ready to go (after Fiona let's us know she's done with her co-sleeper ;-) ).  Isabelle's room has had some renovations as well and she made some executive decisions on the new "look" of her space.  I'm enjoying this magic time of preparing our home and our hearts.  I have one sweet girl caressing my belly, petting my hair, and promising to help take care of Mama; while growing another sweet babe soon to join us.  The way Corey and I have chosen to do things certainly isn't revolutionary.  The idea of letting a baby be a baby or a toddler be a toddler isn't new.  Whenever these little people that we've been blessed with caring for let us know they're ready for bigger and better things we will cheer them on in this bittersweet job of being parents.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm in love.....

...with these chubby chubby cheeks!

...with a girl who is looking just like her older sister!
We left this appointment elated.  We got to see this healthy chunky face and there wasn't another mention of early induction.  I'm not sure if it's because I let my disapproval of the idea of an induction be known or if it was just lack of communication between the midwives, either way it played in our favor!  I was told I won't have another ultrasound until I'm past due at 41 weeks, and although I'm not a fan of that idea - I'm not borrowing trouble, I'll cross that bridge when we get there, if we get there.  The news from the ultrasound is that she's head down, looking at my left hip, and has plenty of fluid.  Oh, and it's only her in there *insert eye roll here* no twins.  No measurement of her weight, which is what I requested but I have to be honest I was afraid they were going to sneak it anyway, thankfully they didn't.

36 weeks, just a few more to go and we all get to meet our sweet Fiona and in her own sweet time.  I'm happy and so so in love!  I've felt her movements and I feel very connected to her already, but leaving this appointment I felt that deep down, soul stirring love that a Mama feels for her baby.  I'm ready when you are Fiona.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Progress Update on Our Progress

Firstly, the girls got new flooring.  In a single weekend Corey with shifts of helpers (my Dad and Tony) ripped out the yucky old carpet and laid down cherry laminate floors.  With Corey and Isabelle being major allergy sufferers the flooring replacement was a major help!  (We are of course not sure if Fiona will have the same allergy issues, but we covered all the bases just in case).

Fiona's room during
Fiona's room after

Isabelle's room during.

Isabelle's room after
After the floors I was able to get to painting the wall accents.  Isabelle and I surfed Pinterest together and I told her to choose whichever room decorations she liked.  Consistently she chose very elegant, Parisian themed rooms with chandeliers, crystals, and lace.  Kind of shabby chic meets Paris.  Now, I'm still hashing out different ideas and she has some new furniture in the works but for now I at least finished the painted wall art.  I free handed everything except the birds, I asked Corey to cut two templates for me, one flying bird and one perched.  All I had to do was trace and then fill them in.  I really think they make the room!

A tall dresser will be going under this chandelier. And I know the color looks black but I promise it's a sweet plum color.

Birds free from the cage.

I had painted her framed name before she was born, all I did here was add a bird.

Now for Fiona's room....
Corey refused to paint the room pink and I didn't want to repeat the lilac color in Isabelle's room so we settled on a very vibrant blue. (Girls can have blue rooms too)!  Now since our first plannings of having another baby I knew I wanted to have Beatrix Potter themed nursery, thinking it would work for a boy or girl.  We have a fabulous specialty fabric shop about an hour from our home and I completely bought them out of all their Beatrix Potter fabric.  I still need to sew the bed linens, curtains, and baby blankets, but given the theme, I knew the wall art needed to look more like a page from a storybook.  So this is what came up with:

The background color of the walls is same throughout the room, these pictures were taken with my phone so the quality isn't the best.

No templates for Fiona's room, I just free handed it onto the wall.  I swear, if I tried to draw it on and then paint over it, it would be a shaky mess.
Please ignore the chaotic mess in the room.  We still need to paint all of the trim white (and do the same in Isabelle's room) but I knew if I waited another week to paint the murals I would only be another week more pregnant making the project too tiresome and my belly too big.
Sponging on the leaves.

My little helper.  I gave her a dry sponge and she went to town dabbing it all over the walls.  My little arts and crafts enthusiast.
Again, the camera isn't really picking up on the colors, there are 2 leaf colors and the soft pink flowers are also 2 layered colors.
The "crib" wall.

This needs some more work, I like the script, it's just not popping how I had hoped it would.  I'm trying to think of how I can make it stand out a bit more.  A darker pink maybe?
Tree behind the rocking chair/reading corner.  (This is the chair from Isabelle's room, we purchased a new rocker recliner for her I just haven't managed a picture of it yet).
There are 2 trees on the "crib" wall.  This is the corner tree.
I'm very happy with all we've been able to get done thus far.  My painting the walls was motivated by the fact that I wanted both of the girls to have something special from their Mama and because I refuse to pay an absurd about of money for wall decals.  My running list of things to get done before Fiona's arrival is slowly but surely getting ticked off, I think we'll be working right up until the finish line!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

35 weeks and Fightin' Mad: HG Diary Update

35 weeks

35 weeks

35 weeks
So we're reaching the end of the road.  I had my 35 week check up today and boy did I get bomb dropped on me today.

I have been completely open about my prenatal history:  I suffer from HG, SPD, and I always measure ahead.  I was induced with Isabelle because I was measuring over 40 weeks while actually being 38 weeks along and because my HG was so out of control they were afraid I would be too weak for labor.  We have a family history of large babies.  My mom, who at times in her life only weighed 100 pounds soaking wet, managed to birth 10 pound 24 inch babies.

ALL of this I have told over and over to ALL of the 6 midwives within the practice.  And yet....

I go in for my prenatal appointment and I'm measuring full term (40 weeks) at 35 weeks.  Now, this didn't give me a single moments pause, I'm just thinking this is par for the course.  After my midwife announces my measurements I quickly scan her face and can read her mind.  Her next statement was: "You're 35 weeks, but you're large enough and far enough along that if you went into labor we wouldn't be alarmed."

Ugh.  Deja vu.  I know where this is headed.

"Well, next week we'll schedule an ultrasound, checking for positioning of the baby and just to be doubly sure that there is only one little girl in there.  Has anyone spoken with you about getting the estimate for her weight yet?"

"No, but what purpose would knowing how much she weighs have?  I don't want an induction."

"Well, that's exactly it.  We have a policy that if during an ultrasound it is estimated that you are going to have a large baby, a baby over a certain number of grams, that you would be categorized as a "category 2" patient and we would transfer your care to the OB side of the practice."

I knew this was going to happen.  This is why I objected to the original suggestion of an ultrasound.  I just knew it.  The midwives can schedule inductions so with the transfer to an OB I know that it's very very likely they will push for a c-section. 

But she's healthy!  Thriving!  I am completely comfortable with birthing a large baby, why are my care providers worried?  I haven't hidden my knowledge of the fact we make large babies, why is this policy just now coming to light?  Why now, in the final weeks?  I had considered switching to a new midwife after the whole kidney infection/kidney stone mess up but decided to stay because:
  1. They have handled my HG so well.  Because of aggressive preventative measures I know it's the reason why I'm as healthy as I am (or can be for a HG sufferer) during this pregnancy.
  2. I was right on the cusp of the 3rd trimester, I was afraid I wouldn't have enough time to bond and make my preferences known with a new midwife.
  3. We had already paid in full for the services of these midwives.  The only bill we would have after the arrival of Fiona would be the hospital bill, for using their facility.  (Independent midwives are very expensive, $3500 upfront expensive).
Had I known about this policy- it would have been my red flag warning, letting me know to jump ship.  But now, here I am, mere weeks away from delivery and I find out I may end up with a new provider, whom I have never met, and I wouldn't have any say in the choosing.  I can feel my grip on an un-medicated natural birth slipping right out of reach.


Furthermore, my midwife continues in the conversation to recommend that I start taking Primrose Oil and another Natural Birth formula to try and kick start my labor myself.  At 35 weeks, and without any actual data to estimate that the baby is truly large, I find this advice borderline reckless.  Needless to say I won't be doing any of these things.

My blood pressure is great, I do not have gestational diabetes, I'm not suffering from any swelling.  Her heart rate is fabulous and she is active and happily squirming in my belly.  We are positive of her conception date, for reasons I'm not quite prepared to discuss here.  I can feel exactly where this appointment is headed and at this point I begin begging/haggling:

"Since we know she's healthy and everything looks OK,  can we just check for positioning and multiples?  I would prefer not to know how big she is going to be."

"I knew that this would give you some anxiety.  I'll tell you what, I'll not order the weight scan and it'll buy you another week.  But, you need to be prepared for this subject to come up again with another midwife."

I'm thinking: oh, well golly, thanks for "buying" me another week.  Seriously?

So after discussing things with Corey here is our new game plan:
  • Go through with the ultrasound, checking for multiples and positioning.
  • After the ultrasound we have an appointment with another midwife.  Who will most likely bring up that we need to get a weight estimate.  We will then decline the estimate ultrasound.
  • If our declining of the ultrasound is met with hesitation on the midwife's behalf, we have decided that although the norm during this stage of pregnancy is a prenatal appointment every week, I will only be making myself available every other week.  This should buy us at least another 4 weeks.
I know every day is precious, especially when we are speaking in terms of developmental growth of an unborn baby.  I'm asking for prayers friends, lots of prayers on behalf of Fiona.  Please help us bring her here in the safest way possible.  And please wish us luck next Friday as we have our ultrasound.  I am a firm believer in babies choosing their own birthdays, as long as it's safe and healthy.  It's something that was taken from Isabelle and a choice (after learning the hard way) that I will fight for Fiona to have.
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