Baby #2 Diary: Part 2
“Ouch, oooh! Babe, you’re walking too fast...I have to sit down,” I said to my husband. He wasn’t walking fast at all. We were literally taking 1 step every 5 seconds, but the sharp shooting pains in my pelvic area made each step more unpleasant than the last. As we sat down on a nearby bench, I looked out at the freshly cut green grass in the park and let out a deep sigh. The next words that came out of my mouth were ones I was scared to say during my first pregnancy because the closer I got to the delivery, the less prepared I felt. But on this day, as I sat on that bench, I boldly and irritably said, “I am so ready to have this baby!”
CHANGING MY MIND
At 30 weeks, I gave in to my desire to have a homebirth. While I loved the OB and Midwifery practice I joined at 8 weeks, the midwives could only deliver in the hospital. In my gut, I knew I needed something more peaceful and less intrusive. My doula, Amy, put together a great list of midwives I could interview. And, so, the hunt began!
At 31 weeks, I hired Elizabeth. Let me just say, the process moving forward was amazing!! She came to my home for all the prenatal visits, led short breathing/meditation sessions, and checked in on me via phone and text in between visits.
At 36 weeks, I met with my entire birth team to discuss the birth and tour my home. Elizabeth was my primary midwife and we chose another midwife to be her birth assistant. I also had my doula who knew me very well from my previous delivery with Kalea. Both my heart and mind were at ease; I knew I was in good hands with these 3 ladies! They organized all the birthing materials in the master bedroom and bathroom and left the place ready for the big day! When they left, I looked at my husband and said, "We are really doing this!"
THE PAINS OF THIRD TRIMESTER
Some say the second pregnancy is easier. Others will tell you each one is different. For me, both hold truth. Mentally, I was much more aware of the birthing process and knew exactly what I wanted and what I was capable of doing. However, physically, I never expected this pregnancy to be so taxing on my body leading up to delivery. The third trimester was the hardest for me and I wasn’t able to be as active as I hoped. The pelvic pain became more intense the more I walked and the more Nadae grew. My hips were also constantly sore and at times, my left hip would give out on me. When that happened, I would limp over to the closest seat I could find until my muscles recuperated. Needless to say, my husband carried a lot of the household load the last few weeks so I could give my body a break.
I limited my activity to prenatal exercises (mostly stretching) and walking up and down my stairs when my hips allowed it. My midwife and doula always reminded me not to push myself beyond what my body was telling me. “Listen to your body” became my motto and continued to guide me as the big day approached!
DUE DATES? FORGET DATES!
Let me start with a little background here. Nadae’s due date was August 5th, but I already knew that less than 3% of babies are actually born on their due date. A baby is considered full term between 37-42 weeks, so a delivery within this time frame was perfectly normal. Kalea, my first, was born on the day of the 42nd week. Nadea also decided to make her grand entrance the day before 42 weeks! Are my gestational periods long or what?!
During my first pregnancy, I found that some doctors are good at scaring women into scheduling a date for inducing if the baby hasn’t arrived by a specific time. Many are not willing to give the baby 42 weeks. I want to be very very clear on my stance here: If both a woman and her baby are healthy, and follow up appointments and sonograms show continued healthy signs, then women should know they have options to wait and also shouldn't feel bad saying no to a doctor’s suggestion to induce before 42 weeks - especially if her desire is to give a natural, vaginal birth. Studies show that medical intervention (pitocin, epidurals, etc.) can make labor longer, more painful, and increase the likelihood of a c-section (The Business of Being Born and Why Not Home are great documentaries to watch for more info!).
If a woman is experiencing a high risk pregnancy, she should work with her doctor to do what is both best and safe for her and her child. That’s what doctors are for! And if a woman is really not digging the idea of a natural or vaginal delivery, or wants one but the idea of pain scares her to death, then that’s fine too! That’s why we are fortunate to have options. But we should educate ourselves on what those options are, ask questions, and understand both the pros and cons of our choices so we can make a wise and educated decision.
For me, working with a team of midwives and a doula this time ensured that I had people in my corner that were trained and certified experts in helping me achieve my goal for a home birth. While I could have gone through the process of interviewing OB-GYN’s again, I wanted a team that was 100% rooting for ME to do this on my own (not seeking monetary gains in the business of birth).
MAMA, IT'S TIME!
(up next, tomorrow!)