Sunday, April 24, 2011

Birth Plan

Ok, so I've finally decided to post my birth plan.  I don't want to start any debates and I know that a few of these items are controversial (everyone has an opinion!), so if you disagree with anything I have decided on, please be respectful of my wishes.  I have done quite a bit of research in order to come to the conclusions that I have.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment but please remember to be respectful :).  Also, I know that not everything in labor & delivery goes as planned, so some of these things may need to be reevaluated, but until something happens, this is my plan.  I have added a few additional comments for this entry in blue.

The people present for the birth will be Alexis’s husband, Jason Snooks, and possibly her mom, Linda Kowing.  (I might even be ok with my dad being in the room... still thinking about that one)

  • Please do not offer pain medication – I plan on using alternative pain relief options.  I will ask for pain medication if I need it.
  • I would like to be out of bed as much as possible during labor (walking, etc.).
  • I would prefer that the amniotic membrane (bag of waters) rupture naturally.
  • I prefer to use natural methods to start labor (instead of induction).

  • I would like the option to be in a position other than lying on my back when I give birth (squatting, lying on my side, etc.).
  • I prefer to tear (or use perineal massage, etc.) rather than having an episiotomy.
  • As long as the baby and I are healthy, I prefer to push instinctively and to have no time limits on pushing.

After Delivery
  • I would like my baby placed immediately skin-to-skin after delivery.
  • The umbilical cord shall not be clamped or cut until the baby is breathing and pink, and until all pulsation in the cord has ceased.
  • If the baby must be taken from me to receive medical treatment, I would like Jason to accompany the baby.
  • I would like to breastfeed as soon as possible (within the first hour)
  • I would like to meet with a Lactation Consultant as soon as possible after delivery.
  • I want all procedures that are done and all medications that are given to my baby explained to me before they are carried out by the medical staff.  If I disagree with the administration of an immunization or medication, I am willing to sign a formal waiver.
  • I would like to have the baby evaluated and bathed in my presence.
  • We do plan on having our baby circumcised at Kaiser Permanente/Northside Hospital.
That's it!  I'm not going to go into details on vaccines because that will open up a whole other can of worms that I don't want to deal with.  Advice and suggestions are welcome as long as they are given with love ;).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

38 Weeks

I can't believe another week has flown by.  It seems to be going faster and faster :).  This week has been a very busy one.  I had my 37 week checkup on Tuesday as well as another ultrasound.  My checkup went well and it was the first time the doctor actually examined me to see if my cervix has dilated or effaced at all.  He began by saying "let's see if we can touch your tonsils", lol.  It was a bit awkward, but I figure that for him it's business as usual.  Anyway, I'm not dilated or effaced at all.  He told me "first time babies don't just fall out" so it sounds like Logan still has some baking time left :).  He made sure to tell me when to call Kaiser (if my water breaks, if contractions are 5-7 minutes apart for at least an hour, etc.) and when to avoid calling.  I'm feeling pretty prepared right now, but that may change when labor actually begins :).

My ultrasound was immediately after the checkup and it went really well.  Logan was in a perfect position for the doctor so he was able to get some great views of his heart.  Everything is the same, but Logan still has a strong heartbeat and he's still very healthy.  He moves around a lot and is a pretty strong little guy!  His estimated weight right now is 6lbs 8oz, but there's a variance of 15oz, so he could be about a pound more or less.  Either way, he should be less than 8lbs when he's born, which I think I can handle :).  They gave me some pictures, but since he's so squished in there, you can't really see much.  They did get a pretty good one of his foot, though, which is kinda hard to miss ;).  The nurse didn't take a picture of his hair, but she showed me where he has a little bit on his head, which is exciting :).  I thought this would be my last ultrasound but they told me to come back in 2 weeks if I'm still pregnant.  Ugh.  I was hoping to be done with them.  While I do love to see Logan, I'm ready to see him *for real* instead of just on a screen.

Jason and I worked hard on the nursery this week and it's almost completely finished, yay!  The crib is ready, the nightstand and dresser are built (thanks to my awesome husband), the changing pad is attached to the dresser, the slipcover is on the recliner, the clothes are washed and put away, the wall decor is up, and everything else is in place except for the curtains.  I'm returning the ones we bought earlier and getting a different set that isn't so cheap :P.  The only thing left is to remove all of the boxes and packaging material from a corner of the room, but that's it :).  It's ready for a baby!!!  Once everything is in place (this weekend), I'll try to post a "nursery tour" video :).

Logan continues to drop in my pelvis and is sitting on some nerves.  My entire pelvis area as well as my left leg (all the way down to my foot) have been really achey the past few days because of this.  Everything I've read says it's normal, so I guess it's just one more thing you don't hear about until you're pregnant ;).  I should make a list of these things so that other girls can be forewarned :).

My parents fly in from Oregon in 2 weeks and I'm really excited to see them!  I know they're excited to meet another grandson, so I hope he cooperates and comes on time so that they'll have plenty of time to spend with him :).  I've started to prepare for their stay by making and freezing meals.  I've only made 1 so far, but I have about 3 more meals (casseroles, etc.) to make and freeze in the next week or so.  I'm trying to get as much done as I can now because Logan could be here anytime!  I'm also trying not to get burnt out, though, so it's a very delicate balance.

Well, I think that's about it for now, so here are the details for this week:
  • Congratulations! You've reached the final weeks in your pregnancy (if you haven't delivered already!) Your baby has probably reached his birth weight now. Most babies weigh somewhere between 6-8 pounds when they are born. Boys are usually longer and heavier than girls.
  • All his internal organs are ready to support him in the outside world. He has also developed healthy amounts of baby fat over the past week and his immune system is developing and will continue to develop after he is born. His fingernails and toenails have reached the end of his fingers and toes and might even need a trim after he is born!
  • Mom, how are you feeling? Have you noticed any electrical tingles in your legs and inside of your pelvis? Yes! These tingles are caused by your baby hitting nerves as he settles down into your pelvic area. Have you noticed any sharp, shooting pains? Yes yes! The baby is probably resting on your sciatic nerve. The best thing to do is try to get some rest and put your feet up!
I don't know if I can give you anymore help with guessing Logan's weight, so make sure you enter as many guesses as you want in our baby pool ASAP!!!  Time is running out :).  No, there isn't a huge prize other than beating everyone else who enters a guess... but sometimes that's better than a prize ;).  I'll post the winner as soon as I'm able to after he's born :).  Keep entering guesses! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

37 Weeks - Full Term!

I feel like I have so much to share this week.  I finally reached 37 weeks, which is considered full term.  Basically, if Logan were born now, he wouldn't be considered premature.  This means lots of great things that basically boil down to him being able to function on his own without much or any medical intervention.  His lungs should be strong enough to work on their own and he would be good and strong.  However, each day that he stays in the womb means better lungs and overall health, so I'm ok with him staying for a few more weeks :).

He's been very active lately and I have to physically adjust my position when he tries to roll around, because he's getting so big!  He's been dropping more and more and a few times I've even been able to feel his head in my lower abdomen... craziness :).  I'm getting so excited to meet my little watermelon... only 18 days until my due date!!!

We've made a lot of progress this week with the nursery and other things.  I bought more food to make & freeze meals with... I just have to actually make and freeze them now ;).  Jason and I bought a car seat, stroller base, and other registry items we still needed.  We also went to Ikea and bought a nightstand and dresser for the nursery.  I ordered a slipcover for the recliner and I'm going to return the curtains I bought and buy a different set (they were pretty cheap).  Jason's going to put the dresser together tonight and then I'll start loading it up with clothes and can start arranging everything in the room :).

I had my 36 week checkup this week and got tested for Group B Strep, which is negative, yay :).  That just means I won't have to be hooked up to an IV with antibiotics while I'm in labor.  My next appointment is tomorrow and I think they start checking to see if I'm dilated at all (yay :P) and I also have an ultrasound immediately following, which should be my last :).

I've been swelling up quite a bit the past week, but it's mostly in my feet.  After walking around Ikea for about an hour, I noticed my hands were really swollen, though.  I think I pushed myself a bit too hard yesterday, so I'm going to be extra careful about that for the next few weeks.  My boss has actually started asking if my feet are swollen a couple times a day and she's cool with me going and putting my feet up at my desk. 

I got my new health insurance card today, so thank God for that!  I'm officially double-covered for when I go into labor and Logan will be double-covered for anything he might need :). 

Anyway, Jason needs the computer, so I better wrap this up, but things are moving along and I'm very very very very very excited!!!!

Here are the development details for this week:
  • Congratulations! Your baby is now considered full term. Most babies weigh 7 pounds by week 37 and measure around 20 inches. Remember, by this point in a pregnancy there tends to be variability between babies, some weighing more than others. Boys, for example, are typically heavier and longer than girls.
  • If your baby were to be born this week, all of his internal organs would be developed enough to function outside of your body. Also, from week 37 on, your baby will only be adding a few ounces of fat to his frame each week.
Don't forget to enter your guesses into our baby pool!!!  You're running out of time :).  And remember, you can enter multiple guesses...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

36 Weeks

Only 4 weeks or 27 days to go!  This week flew by so I can only imagine that the next few will be the same.  I started my new job on Monday and actually made it through the week without falling apart.  So far I enjoy my new job.  I'm learning a LOT, but I spent most of the week watching my boss close the monthly financials in SAP.  Whenever she thought of an errand that needed to be taken care of, she would send me as her runner, which meant lots of going up and down flights of stairs.  My legs were actually sore from all the stairs!  I guess it's a good thing, though, because I need to stay active for when I go into labor.  I was doing pretty good when I got home on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday through Friday nights I would nearly pass out as soon as I got home.  Working full time is definitely wearing me out, but it will make the time pass quickly until my due date :).

My lower back has been hurting pretty bad when I get into bed at night, but Jason has been great at giving me a quick massage so that I can fall asleep.  Since work is wearing me out, I'm actually sleeping really well with the exception of a few bathroom breaks each night.  The newest issue I'm dealing with is swelling.  My poor feet and ankles have been super puffy.  I can't really do anything about it while I'm at work, but as soon as I get home, I plop on the couch and put my feet up.  Oh, another not-so-great thing is that my face has been breaking out, gah.  Oh, the joys of hormones! :)

We haven't really done much more with the nursery since my last post.  Jason carried the Lazy Boy up, but we still need to get a dresser and nightstand so that we can put all of Logan's clothes away.  I did make his crib with our new bedding set from our friend Ginger, though.  It looks great! :)  Once we have everything set up, I'll post pictures.

We had our Childbirth class today down in Atlanta from 9-5:30.  It was VERY informative.  The instructor talked about everything... and I mean *everything*... and she showed a couple of movies.  I told Jason that he could close his eyes if he didn't want to see what was going on, but he said it was like a train wreck and he couldn't look away, haha.  I've seen lots of videos of childbirth and I've even seen it live and in person, but I think it was a new experience for Jason.  Poor guy :).  I think he learned a lot, though, which is good, and all of the husbands were instructed to give us nightly massages, woot!  We're supposed to go back tomorrow afternoon for a "newborn care" class, but I think we're going to skip it. 

Well, I think that's all for now.  Here are this week's development details:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you, measuring over 19 inches long, and weighing about 6 ½ lbs! During week 36, your baby's most important job is to keep putting on weight. Actually, that's his primary job from now until delivery.
  • You probably have another 4 weeks to go until delivery, especially if this is your first pregnancy, but "Full Term" refers to the period between 37-41 weeks, so your baby could be coming any time now! Your due date is probably a good guideline to determine when your little one is coming. Even though few women deliver on their actual due date, many women deliver in the days just before or after.
I guess that doesn't say a whole lot about the baby, but oh well :).  I'm almost there! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

35 Weeks

35 days to go until my due date!... er... now it's only 32 because I'm posting late again.  Oops :).

This week has been pretty good.  Since I posted my last entry late, I'll start where I left off.  I had an ultrasound on Thursday morning and it went pretty well.  Logan was active, as usual, but the doctors were able to get a pretty good look at everything they needed.  They printed another batch of pictures for us and the nurse got a decent picture of his face.  He's looking more and more like Jason!  He still has the heart defect, but the doctor said that other than that, he's healthy, strong, and active, which are all great signs.  From the measurements they took, they said he's approximately 5lbs, so he should be an average sized baby when he's born :).  The doctor said he will probably be somewhere between 7-8lbs, so if you guessed over 9lbs in our baby pool, you might want to enter a new guess ;).

Oh, and my blood pressure was perfect at the ultrasound... 121/83, yay :).  I'm still trying to be careful and pay attention to it, though, because I don't want it to become a problem in the next few weeks.  If you could continue to pray for that, I would really appreciate it :).

The last day of my part time job in Atlanta was also Thursday.  I'm going to miss working there, because I really enjoyed it, but it will be soooo nice to be working close to home.  And I'll feel much safer now that I don't have to drive on 2 major highways in traffic.

My last baby shower was on Saturday with church women and local family.  It was a lot of fun.  My friend, Christina planned it and she included so many little details to make it super special.  I really enjoyed it and got a lot of great presents :).  Jason put the crib together on Saturday morning, so when I got home I emptied all of the gift bags and started organizing everything... I'm super eager to finish the nursery decorating now!  The baby shower might've sparked the nesting instinct in me :).  I bought some navy blue curtains and found a dresser online from Ikea.  I think instead of buying a glider/rocker, we're going to buy a cover for our pink Lazy Boy recliner and use that.  Right now, we just have to go buy the dresser & a nightstand, move the recliner upstairs, and put decals and his name letters on the walls and we should be done :).  We still need to buy a few larger items from our registry (most importantly a carseat), but we got a few checks and gift cards that will help a lot.

I did a little project today with his name letters.  I'm super excited about them!  Instead of painting them, I decided to use scrapbook paper and Mod Podge (a craft glue product) so that they will have cool designs :).  Here's a quick picture I just took... you might need to click on it to view the full size so that you can see all of the details.  The theme is "transportation", so I found a book of scrapbook paper with a bunch of different car/truck/plane/rocket/train graphics :).

I love how it turned out and can't wait to put them on the wall :).

I have to get to bed, so I'm going to wrap this up with the growth and development details this week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you, now measuring about 18 inches long, and weighing about 6lbs!
  • If you have been noticing that you need more bathroom breaks than usual, it may be due to the fact that your baby has "dropped". As your due date grows near, your little one will settle deeper in your pelvis. This reduces pressure on your rib cage, allowing you more room to expand your diaphragm, but now there may be more pressure on your bladder.
  • By week 35, your baby's kidneys are completely developed. His liver is also beginning to produce waste. In fact, a majority of his growth is already done. However, you should expect him to put on some more weight over the next few weeks. As space is at a premium, you may not feel as much tossing and turning inside of you, but you will definitely feel some healthy punches and kicks.
Thanks for reading and for all of your prayers!!!