Thursday, January 31, 2013

36 Weeks: Last Growth Spurt, Braxton Hicks, and Classes

With only one week left till full term, I feel like we've been running around all over the place, trying to tie loose ends. But the good news is that we feel comfortable with how things are going. The baby car seat's installed and ready for the hospital trip, all the baby clothes are washed and tucked away in the baby room dresser, and lots of last minute baby products are on their way in the mail. I've begun organizing things to take to the hospital, tho I have yet to pack them in a bag. We've also been busy attending various classes and talks, recommended by the midwives. And of course, now that I'm over 35 weeks, my prenatal visits happen every week. The one hour drive to the midwives office serves as a great time for the two of us to talk about everything, which has been not only invaluable but quite enjoyable. Oh, and I snuck in a prenatal massage yesterday, and it was heavenly... :) (thanks, husband!)

As soon as I wrote my last entry about feeling great, I began to feel really sick for a few days. I was hot, nauseated, and having a hard time breathing. Apparently, right around now, up to 36 weeks is when most babies go through their last bout of fattening up. There were a few weeks prior to this growth spurt when I didn't gain any weight. Then in the past two weeks or so, I've put on about three pounds. I was concerned because I have Gestational Diabetes, and the biggest concern with GD is having a big baby. But my belly was measured this week, and I'm right where I should be. My blood pressure is fine, my glucose level has been under control, and my baby's heartbeat sounds great. They say the growth tends to slow down after week 36. I guess I'll find out.

We talked about Braxton Hicks a bit at my last appointment. One of the ways to tell is if the belly feels rock hard one minute and then goes back to being normal soon. Looking back, it seems like I've been having these contractions - I've noticed the intermittent, rock hard belly for a little more than a week now. I just thought it was the way my baby was positioned. Some say it's painful, and some describe it as being uncomfortable. It has been neither for me, but I guess it might become stronger as I get closer to the real deal. Either way, I'm glad my body's getting ready!

We're doing another set of childbirth classes at the midwives office to cover things we didn't at the hospital course. It's an expedited, concentrated, two-day version of what they usually do in several weeks. There's another couple who moved to the midwifery later in the pregnancy, so they scheduled an additional set for us. The first class was already tremendously helpful. After reviewing all the stages of labor, we learned a few soothing techniques, having the husbands practice on the wives in class. The midwifery is also offering breastfeeding classes, which I will attend next week. I'm excited. :)

I got a late start in terms of reading and learning about everything because I was stuck being sick for most of my pregnancy. But I'm grateful I get a start at all.

What I've been doing throughout the pregnancy, however, is talking to a lot of new moms. Naturally, everyone has different opinions on various issues. I didn't really feel too strongly about anything until pretty recently, but it was helpful to hear a bunch of different perspectives before developing my own thoughts.

Knowledge is power, and we're arming ourselves for what's to come. Learning has taken most of the anxiety out of the equation for the both of us, and we feel ready to tackle this impending "storm," as many call it.

Another important reminder I'm getting through this process is to surround myself with supportive and like-minded people. Changing to these midwives is the best decision I made in my pregnancy. As much as I believe in being open to other people's opinions, there's a time and a place for that. When going through something as crucial and specific as giving birth to your first child, I say it's important to eliminate as much negativity/opposition as possible.

PHOTO at 36 weeks:

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