Oof

Sorry for not updating, just not too much to talk about! I know I promised an “at the airport” thing, but I can barely see my lap, let alone get too comfortable with my laptop.

It would seem that weeks 30-32 of pregnancy are the magical tipping point weeks. I’ve gone from “Pregnant, you? Just looks like a big lunch!” to “Uhh…why are you smuggling a watermelon under your shirt?” Assuming 37 weeks is full term and 42 weeks is the official “overdue” marker, I have 5-10 weeks left to go. Before I thought I was carrying low, which is simply not the case. I have what I believe to be feet buried in my diaphragm, what I think is a bottom digging into my side, and a flight of stairs is simply a cruel joke that winds me halfway up. The bladder thing is still a concern of mine; I’m a deep sleeper and my body simply does not respond to its cues when more sleep could be had. So to avoid further bladder troubles, since Tom’s been away on business I’ve set my phone alarm for 2:30am so I can wake up normally at 6:30 without being in pain or risking another infection.

The good news is that I’m complication-free and my discomforts are all normal and minor, for which I am thankful. I sleep better than I expected now that I have my Boppy Wedge to stick under my stomach. The baby does outstandingly well in terms of movement; it feels like actual demolition is going on in there. I’m fairly certain it is renovating the interior, perhaps installing a breakfast nook.

One way I have of noting movement and how much water I have had during the day is contractions. I have tons of Braxton-Hicks contractions if I’m not good about my water. If I drink more water and lie down or sit quietly, they go away, so it’s totally normal. A major complaint I have about baby books is that they all say Braxton-Hicks contractions are supposed to be “a painless tightening.” Those books lie, lie, they lie like lying things that lie, and let it ring from the rooftops that those suckers hurt like a mad bastard. My god. Fortunately I have been practicing my Hypno-Birthing and after taking a moment or two to go into full relaxation I can’t feel them anymore. That’s the most encouraging sign so far that this method is working well. I spoke with a friend of mine who actually used Hypno-Birthing and found her birth to be speedy (two hours of labor!!) and not only painless but euphoric. Best testimonial I’ve gotten! I’ll take it!

We also wrote the first draft of our birth plan. Because we start the pre-natal class next week I’m sure there will be revisions based on which of the hospital rules are flexible and which aren’t, but I think it’s a good start. I kept it to two pages, most of which is an outline of Hypno-Birthing principles. Some highlights: do not use fearful-sounding terms (i.e., instead of “contraction,” use “surge”) because it increases anxiety and negates the effects of the relaxed state. Don’t offer pain-management, as constant inferences from the staff that I *should* be in pain only works to undermine the self-induced hypnosis–we have a code word if I am really in need, but we will ask you. Most importantly, don’t “coach” me or cheerlead or ask me to start and stop pushing when I don’t want to and my body isn’t surging; allow me to move and breathe and deliver in a way that’s comfortable to us. And I’m not wearing a freakin’ gown. Icky things.

In short, it’s our belief that unless there is a serious complication necessitating medical intervention, the staff is not there to deliver the baby, they’re there to attend the birth while I deliver. It’s an important distinction to us. They are experts, but if there is no medical urgency demanding that I need to do it their way, it’s my baby and my body and I’m going to do it my way. *Cue the Sinatra* This is not to say that there isn’t a huge disclaimer in the birth plan that in the event of a medical emergency, we will absolutely defer to the staff; there is and we will. There’s a fine line to walk here; clearly they know pregnancy better but Tom and I know me and our baby the best. Our ultimate goal is to have a respectful, considerate dialogue with the staff about our needs and deliver a healthy, live baby into a calm and joyous atmosphere.

Man, when did we turn into such New Agers? I’m going to go have a bedtime Twinkie and try to work out the time difference between here and Wellington.

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