Jai, the young man my mom is friends with, recently asked for a belly photo with my face in it... he only sees the photos I email to my mom, and he said he had never seen my face! So, this is my best shot at a self-portrait of my belly with my face showing via iPhone technology. This is surprisingly more difficult than it seems, especially when you add in the fact that I stand on my tip toes to get these shots. I don't look very happy. Don't think I need to explain why:)
We had our 30 week visit on Thursday. Everything continues to look great, and we are hoping right along with the weight gain. I have now gained a total of 37 pounds during this pregnancy. The doctor is not terribly concerned... my diabetes screen is negative, my blood pressure is perfect, and even the swelling I was having earlier in my pregnancy has pretty much gone away. I am eating well, my lab work all looks great, and I feel good- much better than I did earlier in my pregnancy. Plus, I was up 48 pounds the day that they induced my labor with Abigail (at 37 weeks), but I was back in my non-pregnancy jeans when Abigail was 18 days old, and was 10 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight by my 6 week follow-up visit... all without dieting or exercising! Hopefully things will go that well this time, although the extra 8 years of age may make that a little more difficult. The doctor thinks that maybe I am just one of those people who gains a lot of weight with pregnancy (the "goal" weight gain for a woman of normal weight is 25-35 lbs.) My mom definitely gained a lot of weight during her pregnancies- maybe it's genetic:)
I've started writing our birth plan. Initially, I didn't think that I would write a birth plan, knowing that the running joke in the OB department is "birth plan= c-section." But the more I thought about it, the more I decided I needed one, because there was no telling who would be on-service when I went into the hospital. It could quite possibly be a person we have never met (one of the risks of delivering at an academic medical center.) Plus, I don't want to have to think about telling anyone what I want when I am in labor, or explaining who our doula is or why Abigail is there. I want to be able to just focus on doing the work I need to do. So a birth plan seems to be the best way to communicate that.
So far, a few of the highlights of our birth plan include:
1. Since we don't know the gender of our baby, we do not want the doctor/nurse to announce the gender at the time of birth. John and Abigail will be the first people to check the gender and make the announcement. Abigail is pretty excited about this:)
2. The exact phrasing regarding repair of any tear/episiotomy is "If it is necessary to provide stitches to repair a tear, please provide local anesthesia. Lots of it." It is in bold, just like that:)
3. John and Abigail will also cut the cord together.
4. Abigail has requested that she be able to help with the baby's first bath and diapering the baby. Since this will be in our birth plan, it will be much more likely to happen:)
A lot of the other stuff is standard, run-of-the-mill natural childbirth language, which we are trying to edit down since I tend to be a bit verbose and have written this without a template. One other thing that we did was use the birth plan to "introduce" who will be present at the birth (me, John, Abigail, our doula- Heather, and John's mom, Elaine.) This will save us time, and also hopefully make the care team more comfortable with the inclusion of Abigail during labor/delivery. I made sure to put in the birth plan that we have talked frankly with Abigail and shown her graphic birth videos, as well as taught her medically/anatomically correct language so that they know how to talk to her if she were to ask a question. I mean, not all 7.5 year olds know that a baby is born with it's own special lotion on it's skin called vernix. Or that the baby has to open the cervix then come out the vagina to be born. But Abigail does!
30 weeks, 2 days belly
Now that our niece has moved out of our guest room, we are ready to get the nursery ready. The nursery will still be our guest room as well, so we are not decorating or going wild with a theme. But, we do need to get the crib put up and get a diaper station set up. My mother-in-law, Elaine, threw a surprise baby shower for me this past Saturday at the nursing home where she and I work (Thanks again, Elaine!!!!), and with the lovely gifts we've received, along with items our family has given us and a few things we have purchased, I think we are pretty much set for a newborn. I am looking forward to getting all the little blankies and burp cloths and sockies washed, folded and put away in the dresser:)