I had to double-check previous posts to remember what week this is.  I guess that’s a good summary of how chaoticly busy life is right now! 

Our Pud is hanging on for the ride whilst Mama and Daddy are finalizing loans and getting a closing date for the new house, figuring out what we want to do with the old house, and Mama’s many changes and transitions that are occurring at work as we move from our old fiscal agent to our new one.  He’s getting to be a big guy, apparently measuring somewhat like a small cabbage.  While life is a whirlwind outside around him, he’s taking it all in and bumping around in there to join in the fun.  He’s also getting some white fat on his little body now, which is what helps keep him energized.  The brown fat that’s already been accumulating is responsible for keeping his temperatures regulated.  It’s amazing the things you learn when you read these developmental milestones, like that there’s two types/colors of fat.  In addition, Pud’s growing his permanent tooth buds.  Seriously.  He won’t be needing them for about 5 more years, but they’ll be ready when he is.  I find that an amazing fact, too. 

As for me and my physical state, I can no longer see my feet, unless I bend WAY over; yet, I do not have the “waddle” going on.  I’m proud to say that I’ve been working really hard to practice good posture to reduce and prevent lower back pain.  That’s been great!  The nice side effect is that practicing good posture requires using abdominals- the very core muscles I’d like to contine to strengthen.  Most frequent complaints: getting tired or hot- not surprising when the heat index is 100 or more.  When I get too hot, I sometimes experience Braxton-Hicks, a lesson learned during an early afternoon walk around the block with Callie during a midday break this week.  I’ll have to start adding a HUGE bottle of water to those walks, because becoming dehydrated is a very quick thing and that helps promote the Braxton-Hicks contractions.  The Braxton-Hicks can be a little uncomfortable sometimes, but since I know it’s my body practicing and preparing for the big day, it’s really no big deal.  I’m grateful for a high pain tolerance and a healthy “This, too, shall pass” attitude.

We had our first birthing classes last weekend, and we are SO glad we’re taking them.  The first class was an all-day class on Saturday at the local hospital, where we plan to deliver.  We found out quite a bit about hospital policies that are worth sharing:

  1. No young visitors under age 10, unless the kiddo’s a big sibling.  Sorry, M.B.
  2. For delivery, max of 4 people in the room with me.  1 and 2 are B and our doula.  3 and 4 can rotate.  When we register, we need to find out about the interpreters.
  3. For emergency C-section- only 1 person- that would be my honey bunny.
  4. For scheduled C-section (which we’re working to avoid)- 2 people can be with me.
  5. Cameras and video cameras are allowed.  I am still talking with B to decide what I’m comfortable with in terms of the permanent record.
  6. Cell phones are permitted, yet the reception isn’t always great.
  7. Wi-Fi is available, though again, sometimes the reception isn’t so great.

We also learned that the hospital is very supportive of breastfeeding and allowing us to bond with and gush over Pud right after he’s born.  This fact made my day.  We did get an opportunity to see all the paraphernalia that goes along with medical interventions- heavy metal forceps, vacuum extractor, epidural and spinal tap trays, and more.  It was good information to have, but I’ll still be honest: the medications still scare the life out of me.  Isn’t that just amusing?  I am more afraid of the pain medication than I am the pain of childbirth!  I realize that it will, indeed, be painful, but I also know that labor isn’t going to cause an allergic reaction.

Fresh off the excitement of the hospital childbirth class, we went to our first natural childbirth class at Baby Moon on Sunday.  It was GREAT!  B and I both learned a lot of really helpful things: 4 essential exercises and a couple of things about nutrition to help make sure that my body stays healthy.  Staying healthy and fit is the key to having a natural childbirth.  Why?  Because it keeps one in the “low-risk” category.  “Low risk” pregnancies don’t worry about preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, hypertension, placental abruption, intrauterine growth restrictions, preterm labor… the list goes on.  Once a mama develops these conditions, medical intervention becomes more necessary.  So the goal is to STAY low risk! 

The biggies for nutrition are to eat between 60-80 grams of protein per day- that means something with protein just about every time I eat.  One of the best things is the Incredible Edible Egg, which also provides baby boy with DHA- a brain development-booster.  2 per day, plus 4 cups of milk, equals 50% of my daily protein needs.  Guess who’s been eating eggs every day?  Additionally, I need 1/2-1 gallon of water (fluid- milk counts) per day.  Well, with this heat, that hasn’t been hard at all to accomplish, and I was doing it before I was told to.

Squatting, pregnancy-style

The four exercises: pelvic tilts, which actually help baby to get in the right position for birth, making a smoother transition through the birth canal and exercise the muscles used to get the baby out; squats, which help prepare muscles for allowing gravity to be a mother’s best friend; kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that will be doing the bulk of the pushing action at birthing time (and the bonus is that mama will still be able to hold her bladder when older), and the tailor sit, which helps open the pelvis, so there’s more room for a big ol’ baby to pass through.  These are in addition to general exercises, like walking, dancing, and swimming.

The Tailor sit, aka "Butterfly"

Incorporating the squat into my day hasn’t been that hard, thanks to needing to file things in the lower filing cabinet drawers at work.  Closing out student data for the end of the fiscal year has benefits.

Another thing that we learned in our natural childbirth class was relaxation breathing and a guided relaxation technique, in which B will gently touch me at different points along my body from my feet to my head, a cue for me to relax that section of my body, while guiding me to use deep, cleansing breaths.  It is a fabulous relaxation exercise for anytime, but it will definitely be handy in the early stages of labor.  B is so very glad that we decided to invest in the Baby Moon classes, because he now feels like he knows what he can do when labor starts.  After all, as he pointed out, it’ll be just the two of us at the beginning- no doula, doctor, nurse, Mama, or anyone else.  Just us.  And the dogs, who are learning their roles in all this, as well.  Bandit helps by providing balance when I do my squatting exercises.  Callie goes walking with me and kisses me when I do the relaxation exercises.  Both of them help cook the daily eggs.  What can I say?  It’s going to be a family affair!