Tuesday, January 20, 2009

28 weeks 3 days (7 months) belly and some inspiration

The blueberry's latest growth:

Maybe the bump has reached critical mass lately, or maybe people were just in good moods after the inauguration today, but several people offered me their place in line at the post office this morning. Do I look that uncomfortable?

I'm still enjoying pregnancy and feeling quite good. I've started to have Braxton Hicks most days, just a couple a day. My belly button is half in and half out. The baby kicks all the time and I always enjoy it. I have packed on a full 25 or 30 pounds (GULP!) despite exercising daily (you can all see my workout log) and eating really well. I'm really not worried about that, though, because I am feeling so good. I have a little bit of "extra fluff" all over--no real swelling or anything. My midwife is not concerned either and tells me to expect another 10-15. I have occasional heartburn and need 9-10 hours of sleep every night, but no complaints here! I feel I have already forgotten about the first trimester nausea.

I should add...I went for a run on Saturday and it was really warm out. After a mile or so, I was HOT and wanted to take my shirt off to expose my skin to the air a bit. I was on a dead end gravel road, so I thought, "what the heck, why not, I'll put it back on when I get into the neighborhood". Well, it felt really really good, so I ran with just a sports bra, belly hanging out for all to see, all the way to the end of the run and back home. I ran by a lady from my prenatal yoga class on the bike path and got a funny reaction...she thought I was nuts. Oh well.

Reese's blog post from today inspired me. Our school shut down classes and offices today during the inauguration so we could all join together and witness history on the big screen in our barn. There was lots of cheering and many tears shed. Although this is cliched by now, no matter what one's political beliefs, one must be amazed and excited about having an African American in the White House. I happen to join the majority of Americans and the rest of the human population in my support for Obama, so this day was exceptionally special for me. The fact that it followed Martin Luther King Day made it all the more poignant.

Yesterday, in our all school meeting, one of the teachers showed us this video in anticipation of today's events. It was produced by Will.i.am, a member of the Black Eyed Peas. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Another response to Reese...
She is pregnant with her second child and looking into birthing options beyond another C-Section, which automatically excludes her from a hospital birth. Even though the uterine rupture (the claimed reason to not allow Vaginal Births After C-Section, or VBAC) rate is less than 0.3%, the vast majority of hospitals refuse to allow VBAC's and opt instead to undertake the myriad risks associated with major surgery. Many people do not understand why C-Sections are such an unfortunate way to give birth. A few reasons:

1. The mother must undergo major abdominal surgery that requires MUCH longer to recover from than normal birth. When I worked at the maternity ward at our hospital, the goal for CS patients was to sit up on the edge of the bed 24 hours after delivery. They stayed in the hospital for 72 hours or more and were wheeled to their cars in wheelchairs. They are not even allowed to drive for a full two weeks post partum. Many normal birth mothers got up and walked to their post partum rooms 1 hour after delivery, left the hospital within 24 hours, and could resume normal household activities upon returning home.

2. The mother does not experience the flood of oxytocin (the love hormone) while giving birth. Oxytocin is the hormone that makes us fall in love, produces orgasm, and makes the uterus contract during normal labor. Many mothers that do not experience this hormone rush have difficulty bonding with their babies. Oxytocin is also absent from labors induced by its synthetic cousin, Pitocin.

3. Delayed mother baby bonding time. Most CS patients are in recovery for an hour to several hours after delivery and do not bond with their babies until out of recovery. After 9 months of pregnancy, the babies are taken to the nursery instead of laid upon their mothers' chests as they are in normal birth.

There are many more reasons, but I can go on about those later. C-Sections are very rarely the choice of the mother, but are the will of the doctor in attendance. While sometimes CS's are absolutely necessary and justified, it is absurd to have a CS rate of over 30% in this country. C-Sections follow a pattern that is usually proceeded by a cascade of interventions: mother goes into labor but is not contracting "enough" to dilate "fast enough", so Pitocin is given via IV to "speed things up". Pitocin greatly increases labor pain, so said mother requests an epidural. Epidural given, pitocin increased, mom doesn't care because she can't feel it. But baby can feel it! Contractions induced by pitocin are closer together and of a higher intensity than normal contractions (and remember, they do not include Oxytocin, which makes mom happy). Contractions temporarily cut off the blood supply to the placenta (and therefore baby). Without proper rest between contractions, baby's endurance begins to suffer. Baby's heart rate drops, emergency C-Section is ordered, and doc says to mom, "We did everything we could do, at least you have a healthy baby". AHH! (Okay, Okay, I'll stop now!)

That is why I am planning a home birth with a midwife! (That, and so I can have a good cup of coffee at 6am or a meal at 2am, not have an IV, and sleep in the same bed with my husband!)


Reese said...

Amen, sister! Thank you for the more in-depth argument against elective C's. I also really enjoyed the Will.i.am video. So, I take it you weren't inspired by the "hawk eating the chicken" story from my blog? :)

lanerdoo said...

Wow...you know a lot about that. So much I didn't know and now I have a much different view of the birthing process. Although I was given pitocin and an epidural, I still had an overwhelming feeling of love and emotion upon delivery, for my baby and for my epidural. I applaud you for your educated approach and your resolve to do it at home. Not for me but very cool!

aubyn said...

You are right, hospitals have crap coffee!

Anonymous said...

Crystal again: I should have known at two points that a c-section was what my doctor was going to do. Point one when I had my appointment at the "point of no return" (translated as 'you are full term so if you go into labor we aren't going to try to stop it) and my doctor didn't want to talk about what I wanted from my delivery because we had 'plenty of time to talk about that.' i had my baby a week later. Then when I had to visit the hospital because I was dehydrated and they decided to keep me because the third time was the charm.
I couldn't walk straight for about a month afterward. Some moms never lose the pain in their backs from the epidural and you are at higher risk of infections that the doctors will tell you is "normal" after a c-section. I have a horror story and I wish I had a midwife. If I ever have another baby it will be a vbac with a midwife.
Considering the fact that I felt none of my contractions until they started the pitocin - I could have had an excellent story. I think you will be happier with what you have chosen. If you ever want the full baby story I will tell you but I'll spare the details for now.

Joy Joy said...
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Lindsey K said...

Joy-first of all I read this entire post and then realized how little I knew about birth...one of my friends here in Billings is delivering with a midwife and I have been a little worried, but am more at ease now so thanks! And also do you remember that I wanted to name my baby Lily Joy when I was in high school? After you and Reese? I remenissed about that today after reading that list and had to smile :)--I promise I am not pregnant!

Joy Joy said...

I DO remember! That is still a GREAT name!

Polly said...

hey joy joy- congrats on how great you are feeling. can i rub your belly when i come for the ice fest?! :)

i wasn't at the ouray ice fest. we went the weekend afterwards. it was till pretty crowded, but i'm sure nothing like the ice fest. we had our b/b to ourselves. oh wow, i love that little town!!