Weight gain: 2.5 lbs
Baby's Heart Rate: "Just perfect"
Uterus: 34 cm
The uterus had measured in at 36 cm last week (so Dr. W tells me; I didn't get the measurement last week), which means the baby has dropped 2 cm! Hooray! I could tell something had changed based on my frequent trips to the bathroom, and sure enough, James is settled right on top of my bladder. His head is pretty set in the pelvis, so that's good! Hopefully he will stay there! Dr. W is estimating that he'll be about the same size as Caleb at birth, so around 7 lbs or so.
Questions we discussed:
- Further clarification on the "natural methods of induction." It turns out that these methods (mentioned in a previous post) will start contractions, but will most likely not start labor. The contractions will serve to start the effacement/dilation process, something that didn't happen 'til late in the game last time. So when labor does begin, we'd be ready!
- Birthing positions: It's common knowledge by now that trying to birth a baby flat on your back is not ideal. However, it's still pretty common practice. So when I asked Dr. W about different birthing positions, I was happy when she responded, "I'll use any position BUT flat on the back." She suggested a squatting position or even on all fours (I've read about it, but still not sure how that works). Something to note, though, is that an epidural effectively takes away the use of your legs, which means that an on-your-back position is almost required.
- Video and photography is allowed throughout the entire process...if I really want it....
- I found out that Dr. W will be attending the birth whether she's the doctor on call or not. This gave me a good bit of relief because I think she will be a big help, and by her admission, the other doctors in the group will probably only show up to catch the baby. She, on the other hand, will come around every 2 hours or so, day or night. She said the only time she won't come in is at the really tough part right before it's time to push (called the "transition phase"). While it seems a little odd, the reasoning is that at that moment, I will be begging her to do whatever she can to get. that. baby. out. Because I know she can. But if she's not hanging around (though she assures us she'll be close by at the nurse's station), I'm likely to be more patient and make it through that stage on my own. Interesting bit of psychology, eh?
- Dr. W said that the nurses are very open to natural deliveries and will be just as willing--if the time comes--to act quickly for an epidural or whatever is needed.
All in all I thought it was an exciting visit. Not only does James seem like he's getting ready to go, I'm looking forward to working with Dr. W...and getting to hold our tiny baby in just four short weeks!
On from there, Jon and I headed to the hospital to pre-register and get a little tour of the Women's Center. The pre-registration was long, boring and expensive. Nothing to report. I was thankful my mom was in town and keeping Caleb at home!
The labor and delivery room is huge! When Dr. W told us we could have as many people in there as we wanted, I think it's actually true! We could fit a tight 30 people in there, I'm sure.
I asked about food and the nurse said, "You mean for him (Jon)? Because you're only allowed ice chips." I left that alone. Dr. W had said, "I'll deal with the nurses" regarding that issue, so I'll let her deal with it. The nurse said they provide a birthing ball, but they only have 2, and both were in use while we were there, so if we really wanted one, to bring our own. Good to know, because I LOVED having mine last time.
And then I confirmed that I could carry James out in my arms, which I can. Some hospitals require the baby to be strapped into a baby carrier, which we're not planning on having. And that was the basic hospital visit.
Overall I'm still feeling good. I have slight swelling in my ankles if I've been on my feet all day, but it goes down with rest. Yesterday we went to an indoor/outdoor museum that wore me out. I've definitely slowed down, but I don't feel bad. I'm sleeping much worse lately (Jon says I'm snoring up a storm, which I did with the first pregnancy, as well!). I've been waking up every couple of hours with my mind buzzing about baby stuff, then I go to sleep and dream about baby stuff. I don't feel any less comfortable than I have in the last few weeks, so I think the change in my sleep patterns is more psychological than physiological. However, I might try the couch tonight and see if that helps anything. At least it'll help Jon get a better night's sleep!