Thursday, July 22, 2010
26 Week Update
I am 26 weeks along and we are cruising through! The last four weeks haven’t been as eventful which is really nice. It is fun to be in the second trimester were all we are doing is watching him grow. And man is he growing! I am quite a bit bigger than I was when I last took a picture. I am wearing it well though. My back is surprisingly not as sore as you would think, and I am still moving around just fine.
I have hired a midwife. She only does home births, but she takes patients for what they call “concurrent care” if you are looking for that kind of monitoring even if you are delivering in a hospital. Basically, she will not deliver the baby, nor be at the hospital. I will simply see her for prenatal visits (and likely some postnatal visits as well) as I move through the rest of this time. I wanted to hire a midwife because of how I went into labor with Noah. I think about half the people in my life know that when I had Noah, my water broke, but I didn’t have any contractions or any signs of going into active labor. In the medicated child birth world, you go straight to the hospital where they give you lots of pitocin, the labor inducing drug to get things going. In the natural childbirth world, they call this PROM, or Premature Rupture of Membranes. It is normal and healthy, and you wait it out until your body and your baby decide to get things going on their own. This takes about 72 hours. It took me just under that time frame. I know that this concept scares the bejesus out of most, but for me I have no regrets. I got two and half more days with Noah than I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. We were both fine. I find it comforting in hind sight that he was the uber-nature baby. He came into the world when he wanted, and he left when he needed.
Doctors do not subscribe to this method of going into labor at all. There are a myriad of reasons why. Fear of malpractice suits, plus they make more money on medicated mothers, or maybe it is what insurance companies insist on for some reason. Either way, if it happens again with Aaron, I want to be cared for by someone that understands waiting for spontaneous labor, and is still a licensed medical professional, and has all the equipment (ultrasounds, etc) that my doctor has to monitor me more carefully. I also heard from a friend who uses a home birth midwife that the prenatal visits last about an hour. I probably see my OB for ten minutes when I go. The midwife on the other hand does a full checkup, measuring my belly, doing an ultrasound, checking blood pressure and pulse, and a number of other things. She also goes over how I am handling stress, what am I doing for diet and exercise, and helps manage the vitamins and supplements I am taking. It is a very thorough checkup! I find that incredibly comforting. Also, when I have questions, she is available all day and into the evening. She always picks up the phone. I don’t leave a message with someone else or on voice mail and wait for her to call me back. She is just always there. In moments of panic, she is a real lifesaver! I will of course continue to see my regular doctor too since that is who will actually deliver Aaron in the end. I am just covering all my bases and enjoying the best of both worlds by splitting my time between a doctor and a midwife.
I saw the midwife last Friday and she was remarking on how much weight I have gained in the last month. I have gained nine pounds! She then went over my diet with me. I am pretty anal about food and after I satisfied her that I am not living off of french fries, potato chips and the like, she turned her attention to check up on Aaron’s growth. That’s where we found the answer. He is measuring four weeks ahead of schedule! He has been growing like a weed, and frankly knowing that now makes a lot of sense. I have been hungry pretty much all the time lately. I have had a hard time keeping up on that for him! He has been in the middle of a huge growth spurt. Noah grew the same way. He was always measuring ahead. With two very tall parents this is completely normal and to be expected. In the ultrasound, Aaron looks great. He moves around just fine. His heart rate was in the 130’s. Everything looked perfect. He is just one big growing boy!
Aside from Aaron’s massive growth, as the summer is progressing, I am getting more and more swollen. My hands and feet feel like sausages. I haven’t seen the bones in my feet for a few weeks now. I have also been getting some braxton hicks contractions. The midwife says that this is normal and likely a sign that I need to slow down and rest more. Focus on staying hydrated and keep eating small snacks throughout the day. They don’t hurt and they aren’t coming regularly. I likely had them last time, but just didn’t get what they were. I haven’t had any food aversions yet. I am craving watermelon and the occasional Root Beer. I have always liked watermelon, but I don’t like Root Beer ordinarily! I don’t let myself have one except for every so often. Clearly Aaron loves it though! He is moving around more and more. There are times when it feels like he is knitting sweaters in there. He doesn’t kick so much as he feels like he is busy working on something!
As you can see from my previous post, the PUPPPS is back this time around. The skin on my legs started feeling a little itchy, and then right around 23 weeks it tipped over into being PUPPPS. PUPPPS stands for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy, and it is an allergic reaction to the pregnancy, and in particular, some research is showing that it is an allergic reaction to male fetal DNA. It causes an extremely itchy rash akin to poison ivy and it usually pops up later in the pregnancy. Usually 3rd trimester, but because of the severity of how bad I tend to get it, it came mid way through second trimester this time. It is pretty rotten, and last time I had no choice but to take mega doses of steroids throughout the rest of pregnancy. This time I seem to be doing really well with the amazing acupuncturist I have found. She has a treatment plan that is really keeping it under control so far. I am so grateful! The midwife too has been pulling together a concoction of supplements that helps a lot too. Between the two of them, I am doing really well. It takes a lot of work keeping on top of it all, but to stay off of those drugs makes it very worth it! Pray that it works throughout the rest of the pregnancy!
Hope all is well with each of you! Thanks for reading!