Saturday, March 15, 2014

Overview Weeks Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One

Week 29: This week Tommy and I had to go to the hospital so I could get the Rhogam shot. If you remember from a previous post, we found out my blood type is B negative. We do not know Tommy's blood type, however if his blood type is positive, Gavin could have a positive blood type. So what? If I am B negative and Gavin is a positive blood type, what's the problem? Well, if Gavin's blood type is positive, my body may develop antibodies towards the Rh positive baby. If a small amount of the baby's blood mixes with my blood, which is common, my body might respond as if it were allergic to the baby. This means my antibodies can cross the placenta and attack my baby's blood. The antibodies break down the baby's red blood cells and can cause serious illness, brain damage, or even death. The Rhogam shot prevents the antibodies from attacking my baby. 

This shot is given at the hospital that I will deliver in. First we had to get my blood taken to confirm I am B negative. This was done downstairs from the maternity wing. It takes about an hour for the results to come back, so Tommy and I went out to Olive Garden for dinner. Once we arrived back at the hospital, we had to go to the maternity wing to get the shot. The nurses and receptionists were really pleasant, knowledgeable, and extremely nice. Tommy mentioned to one of the receptionists/nurse that we missed the last tour (they give a tour of the maternity suites every second Sunday of the month) because we had to go pick up our new puppy, Riley. The nurse told us she would give us a private tour after I received my shot. I got the shot and the nurse showed us around.  

Let me tell you how excited and impressed I am with this hospital. I HATE hospitals, HATE HATE HATE! But after asking millions of questions, seeing the rooms, and knowing their procedures, I felt so much more comfortable. Let's start with how quiet the wing was while I was there. I couldn't hear anything in the other rooms, in fact, I thought nobody was there and the rooms were empty. There were actually four families there at the time and all of them had their babies already. The rooms are big and homey. EVERYTHING is done in one room, pre-labor, labor, recovery, EVERYTHING! I even have my own private bathroom with a shower and Jacuzzi tub. There is a pull out twin bed for Tommy to sleep on, a couch, two dressers, a flat screen T.V., a bassinet, and a scale. That's right, the baby stays in the room with us at all times... unless I want him in the nursery, but I want him with me at all times.  So, I do not have to leave the room at all for any reason...except if I have to get a C-section. The nurse didn't even show me that room, because she said I have to think positive and I wouldn't have to go in there. Otherwise, I stay in my room. 

Here are some of the hospital's procedures after the baby is born: 
  • He is placed directly on me for skin to skin time. 
  • He is not washed, just wiped off (you will see why this is a good thing in my birth plan)
  • He is weighed and given his shots in front of me
  • I will have a breast feeding coach come in and help Gavin latch
  • He eats, sleeps, and gets changed in my room
  • I have one nurse to help me with everything and anything I need
  • The night before I leave the hospital he is taken to be circumcised (which is perfect because I DO NOT want to hear or see that happening)
The nurse told me these procedures straight upfront, without me even asking questions. 

Other information: 
  • Only two additional people are allowed in my room while I am giving birth, which is Tommy and my mom, (we get cool bracelets that give us access to the nursery and other parts of the maternity wing)
  • There is a nursery... and it is NOT like the ones in the movies or T.V. This nursery is supper small and only fits around 3-4 babies because the babies stay in the room with their mommy. 
I never thought I would say this, but I love the maternity section and I am looking forward to my stay at the (gulp) hospital. 

OK, now for my birth plan. These are the procedures, how I feel about them, and what I hope/want to happen. AND I KNOW IT IS JUST A PLAN... I AM NOT MARRIED TO THE PLAN, THINGS CHANGE, I KNOW, I GET IT, BLAH BLAH BLAH, FHEGHIEIHGSHEDGHDEHG!!!! But it doesn't hurt to have a plan... that way the doctors and nurses and Tommy and I are all on the same page about our desires. We will be involved with the decisions other people are making with our own child's life. Why wouldn't you have a plan?! 


1) Allow me to push and birth in any position of my choice for as long as it takes until the baby is born. NO C-SECTION unless the baby is in danger.  
Luckily, my hospital allows me to change positions if I would like, whatever is comfortable for me... whether it is down on all fours or on my back. They also provide big birthing balls and the Jacuzzi tub to help ease the pain. Could you believe some hospitals do not allow the woman to birth in different positions??
2) Allow my placenta to deliver naturally without Pitocin.
This should be a LAST resort option, only if there is an issue with the placenta not coming out on its own, or the risk of hemorrhage.
3) Save my placenta for encapsulation.
Placenta encapsulation is when the placenta is dehydrated, ground, and poured into capsules for the mother to take postpartum. This is usually done by a doula or a midwife. The placenta is packed with amazing vitamins and nutrients. Consuming it has been known to help prevent postpartum depression, increase energy, and help with milk supply. Yes I will be "eating" my placenta. Well, in a pill form.. I am not going to fry or cook it for dinner.
4) Please do not perform an episiotomy. 
The uterus will contract at a normal speed, to allow for proper stretching. The mother will be able to feel what is going on so she won’t just push arbitrarily. Some tearing might still occur, but it will heal much more quickly and naturally without a large cut made that probably wasn’t needed at all.
5) Delay cord clamping until the cord has stopped pulsating.
Studies have shown that delaying the cutting of the baby’s umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing has many benefits. The baby is getting his blood supply from the placenta and as long as it is pulsing it is still sending nutrient rich blood to your baby’s system. The cord will be cut by Tommy. My doctors and the nurses at the hospital already follow this procedure.
Baby care
1) I would like baby placed on me directly after birth. Baby will breast feed, so only offer my breast and no artificial nipples. 
2) Do not bathe baby- I plan to bathe baby after I have had time to rub in the vernix.
Vernix is the white, waxy sort of substance on the baby’s skin after he is born. This substance has a ton of amazing benefits (moisturizing, prevent diseases) and nutrients that should not be washed off. The nurses at my hospital do not wash the babies off, only wipe excess vernix off. 
3) Shots and ointment will be given to Gavin in my room with Tommy and I present (vitamin K injection, hepatitis b vaccine, erythromycin eye ointment)
So as you can see 1) my birth plan is not long 2) the hospital follows these procedures anyway. As a result, ONE HAPPY MAMA!
You might have noticed there is nothing about an epidural in the plan. My goal is to deliver Gavin without an epidural, but I am not eliminating it completely. I have never given birth, I have never experienced this pain before. I would like to think I am strong enough to do this without an epidural and I will try my absolute hardest to do so. I have the option for an epidural, but my intentions are to give birth naturally. 

The baby: is the size of a butternut squash! Gavin will be in for a major growth spurt over the next three months. He will become more cramped inside the womb. He is still active and moving around consistently. 

Mommy's Health: Lately I have been short of breath. In the middle of teaching in front of the class, I have to stop talking to catch my breath. This is because Gavin is growing and is moving higher up, causing him to push on my diaphragm. It is especially hard to breath while sitting because he has less room. Once he "drops" I will get my lungs back!

Week 30: On Monday, February 28, 2014 I had a doctor's appointment. This was the first doctor's appointment where Tommy was not present. Now that I have appointments every two weeks, it's harder for him to leave work early. He will be attending every other appointment which is once a month. The only concern for the doctors this week was the pressure I have been feeling on my cervix. I could just be walking and all of a sudden feel a sharp pain for half of a second. I have to stop walking and quickly close my legs together because it feels like he could pop out any second. My doctor said I get that pressure feeling from being on my feet for too long, causing gravity to do its job. I'm a teacher, I have to be on my feet!! I have to learn to take more breaks. 

The baby: is the size of a cabbage! Gavin is now able to have the hiccups. And boy has he had them! It's the cutest! My belly kept "popping" up every other second for about a minute. I can't wait to see him hiccup in person <3

Mommy's Health: I have been taking more frequent breaks at work and the pressure/pain feeling has lessened. I still feel great!

Week 31: Nothing too exciting went on this week, pregnancy wise. I got a lot of work done at school, which I really needed to do.

The baby: is the size of four navel oranges! Gavin is gaining more weight because his baby fat is filling in underneath the skin. He is also becoming less red and more pink in color.

Mommy's Health: This past week I have been so sick. It's just a cold, but a cold is ten times worse while pregnant. Some of my cold symptoms included: stuffy nose, sore throat, chills, headache, and earaches. I didn't take any form of medicine until day five. My doctor and the Walgreen's pharmacist told me Robitussin D is safe. I don't even take medicine when i'm not pregnant. I believe the body can heal itself. But I had to consider that when i'm sick, Gavin is also sick, which is not healthy for the fetus. I lost my appetite and lived on chicken noodle soup for a week. They assured me to just take the medicine, it was better than being sick... and it was worth it. Two days later I felt much better.  

I'm going to miss blogging about my pregnancy, 9 more weeks!

Here is more information on the Rhogam shot/Negative blood type:

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