Reader Question: post baby body

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy

Hi there – I hope this isn’t a crass question… I’m a soon-to-be first time mom as well, and am curious/fearful about weight loss after. You were very open and vulnerable about weight gain leading up, and look great now; i’m wondering if you’re planning to write at all about your body post-baby?

I haven’t written anything about it because there’s nothing to say so far (and time is at a premium). I haven’t worked out and haven’t lost much until now. A measly half a pound a week or so.
I have resolved to start my work out routine on Monday along with some healthy dieting (good bye cookies with justification of “but I’m breaaaastfeeeeeding”).
I will try to keep a semi-regular feature with the progress, though obviously I can’t promise too much consistency.

To be honest I’m really excited about looking skinny again.

“Mommy and Me” Photoshoot and Boob Design Maternity/Nursing giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

IMG_4845

OH-MY-GOD!!!!!!

If I thought it was hard to take pictures when I was pregnant ( you know the whole “gather up the energy, put make up on, wash my hair, possibly style my hair, put clothes on, go somewhere pretty to take pictures), well it is twice as hard trying to get a good picture with Alexis in tow. I still have to do all the preparations listed below, all while she’s hopefully sleeping, then pray for good mood on Alexis’ part, so that all the pictures didn’t look like this

And even when she’s in a good mood, how on earth do you get a 2 months old to pose? You don’t! So you take a million shots hoping that at least in ONE of them she’s going to look decent in and you don’t have a closed eye or busy shushing her. It’s even harder with Alexis because she tends to make all kinds of faces that might look cute in real life, but definitely don’t when they’re frozen on a photograph.

So nowadays, I have to be content with 1 photo out of about 100 that looks good. And after yesterday’s Mommy and Me shoot, this is The Photo:

Fast Food

I think the result is decent considering yesterday was a fussy day!

We’re both wearing a Mommy and Me set from Boob Design, my absolutely favorite item in their store. If you’ve been reading my blog since I was pregnant, you’re aware of my undying love to this brand. I think they have the cutest maternity  clothes and absolutely THE BEST nursing wear on the market. They just opened their US store which makes it impossible for any pregnant or nursing woman to resist buying something. I wasn’t planning on running another Boob giveaway, but after numerous requests from readers, I finally have it ready. So enjoy! It’s open internationally and anyone who’s pregnant or nursing or planning on becoming pregnant or has a baby can enjoy Boob Design clothing. I also have a DISCOUNT CODE if you plan on purchasing something. It’s 20%OFF any purchase except for Outlet and it’s valid till April 12th. Use BOOBDESIGN-APRIL-20% code to get the discount.

Some of the other Boob items that I have:

 

So for those who aren’t familiar with Boob Design ( and note: this is not a review, I just love them this much), their nursing dresses, tees and tanks have a special pocket that opens up without exposing your belly so you can breastfeed in public without the darn cover-up. They are definitely my prefered online retailer of nursing clothes. I’ve nursed in Boob tees in public and it’s a breeze!

It’s funny that I had to nurse Lexi during the shoot, but it looks damn good, doesn’t it? You open the top pocket and latch the baby on- VOILA! No boob hanging out :) Most items are made out of organic cotton or  lyocell and are very nice to touch and are very stretchy ( which is a key to baby onesies, because Alexis has developed hatred of clothes going over her head, so I have to stretch the neck to make sure it doesn’t touch her face as I put it on)

Fast Food

So here are a few other photos taken that I am somewhat ( but not fully) happy with.

Fast Food

This was taken after the shoot, while I was putting Alexis to sleep in the stroller (more on that later)

Fast Food

BUY IT:  Use BOOBDESIGN-APRIL-20% code to get a 20% off discount until April 12th.

WIN IT:

So now, due to popular demand, I present to you a Boob Design giveaway.
There will be 3 winners of $150 credit to Boob Design Store each. The contest is open internationally and there’s a new entry that can be entered in once a day.

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

There are two mandatory entries, after which you will have additional entries available,
and 2 daily entries for which you can come back to enter daily.
The winning entry will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Make sure to notate how you’re following the blog in the extra info field (entry #1). The entry won’t count if that information is missing.
Please make sure to visit Boob Design facebook page and write on their wall what you’d buy if you won.
The giveaway is open to INTERNATIONALLY. See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.

UPDATE: You can now log into the Rafflecopter through Facebook or just by using your name/email.

If you have a blog, there’re 2 entries each worth 10 points ( post our button on your blog’s sidebar and blog about the giveaway)

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then I’VE DONE IT once the action is completed}


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is NOT a review.

Birth Story Part 2

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, My Pregnancy

Before reading Part II, please read Birth Story Part I

(…) We called the nurse to do a cervical check.

I’m 3.5 cm 50% effaced!

No progress! Twelve hours of intense frequent contractions did absolutely nothing!

My first thought was “Thats it! I want an epidural!”  I was too tired and sleepy to fight any longer. And as if by command, before we were even able to discuss it or tell the nurse, my contractions started spacing out. They were coming 4-5 min apart. It was like my body’s way of telling me to relax.
In retrospect, I can see that I wasn’t able to effectively relax during contractions (even though I thought I was). Instead my body had to work really hard against my tension (hence no progress and super strong frequent contractions) which is exactly what I was trying to avoid by doing hypnobabies but obviously it didn’t work for me.
I think if my body was given a chance to rest, the contractions would have picked up again but I was so exhausted and sleepy at that moment, I didn’t feel I had the energy to wait and see even through spaced out contractions, so we requested an epidural. Cynthia administered the IV drip, and after they made us watch this silly 70s video, my anesthesiologist came in and took care of the rest. The procedure was painless and I felt relief almost instantly. Aaaaaahhhhh! It’s easy to become an epidural convert when the relief is so immediate.

Later, when I was going through the photos taken during labor, I found this photo immediately followed by the one below it.


{It’s like a commercial for medicated birth}

The first thing I tried doing was SLEEP! Oh the glorious gods of slumber! It was great! I didn’t really get to sleep for a long period of time but just resting for an hour made all the difference.

Soon the nurse shift changed and a new nurse, named Jackie came in. She was actually  a hypnobabies trainer. She was a goofy woman and luckily now that I had an epidural, I didn’t mind joking around.

She talked to me about getting some Pitocin to get the labor going since an epidural slowed it down a bit more as well. I suggested we wait an hour or so and then see. Realistically, with enough time my labor would have picked up on its own but none of us wanted to sit around and wait till that happened. We wanted Lexi and we wanted her now. {Funny how impatience can get the best of us}

We figured if in a few hours it doesn’t pick up, we’ll be ok with a low dose of Pitocin. I wouldn’t have wanted to have Pitocin to start the labor, because it would sabotage my chances of  laboring without pain relief but since I was already hooked on an epidural, it didn’t really matter much, as long as it was administered wisely.

My OB came in to talk to me in about an hour and I repeated what I had told the nurse. That “generally” we don’t mind starting a pit drip, but we’d like to wait an hour to see what my body does on its own.

I have to mention that at the hospital my nice sweet OB was more bossy and strict. It wasn’t a bad change, per se, but I did feel like i had less say in the matter than before. So after an hour of lack luster contractions we went ahead with the first low dose of Pitocin.


Contractions picked up quickly and were coming regularly. The goal was to up the dose every 20 min until they come every 2-3 min apart again. As far as I remember we upped the dose 3 times.
Pitocin was first administered at 10am and I was fully dilated by 2pm. The whole time I just hung out on my phone, not feeling a thing waiting for the drugs to do their job.

Around 2 pm- 2:15 pm we were ready to push. Her head was right there. After every push it would come out and then get sucked back in. We like to say that the first thing that was born was a curl of dark hair! Before we saw Alexis, we saw her curl for a few contractions.

It was really frustrating to push while numb. I felt helpless and ineffective. BUT it WAS painless. I clearly remember thinking (and still do) that while the pushing with an epidural was frustrating, I was not sure I wanted to experience it without, seeing all the stretching my OB was doing there- Yikes! Speaking of stretching, I won’t go into gory details, but it appeared that my OB was in a hurry and wanted to speed up things a bit ( he had to make a call to his office saying he’d be there in 30 minutes) and used his hands “freely”. My husband believes it was one of the reasons why I got 1 tear ( 1st degree). In the end, we decided that we didn’t mind, because him stretching me out meant less pressure on Lexi’s head and since I didn’t have a painful recovery, it was all for the best.

After about 30 minutes of pushing her head came out and it looked sooooo little! Before she was even pulled out completely, she started crying. She was so alert the whole time. She was immediately placed on my chest where they sucked liquid from her nose and mouth and Andrew started drying her off. I didn’t want to post more graffic photos on here, but there are 2 photos in particular that don’t show anything per se, but are pretty cool since it was the exact moment of Alexis being put on my chest with the cord still attached. The photos are blurry and bad quality but they mean the world to me. You can see them here:  Photo  Photo 2

Then he wrapped her in one of our Bambino Land organic blankets and put a hat on her. I just remember her looking soooo scared and helpless. And there was so much love for her in that instant. Like I said before we didn’t feel overwhelming love, we felt this calm deep feeling of knowing we’ve always loved her- like a “duh” feeling. She was soooo sweet and adorable and scared and she needed us to keep her warm and safe and comfortable. She just lay there on my chest frantically sucking her fist. It almost makes me cry just thinking about how scared she must have been.

 

{Organic Hat and Recieving Blanket is by Bambino Land}

The rest was a bit of a blur. I breastfed her- she latched onto my boobs like a Hoover vacuum and killed my nipples that first time.

After some bonding time when everyone left us alone, the baby nurse came in to weigh her and do routine procedures.

We were so wrapped up in this little girl we had been waiting for for so long that we didn’t even bother to ask her measurements.

After a while I got put into a wheelchair and with my baby in my arms wheeled up to the recovery floor.


It was almost unreal to have this tiny being in my hands- the one who spent 9 months inside me, submerged in water, upside down, with food and oxygen delivered to her, perfect temperature, no outside influence. It’s her little feet that stretched across my abdomen, her butt that stuck out whenever we touched it.

I spent the whole post partum time at the hospital wearing a designer hospital gown by dearjohnnies. I didn’t feel comfortable putting my own clothes on, because anything loose would feel too bulky under the covers and let’s admit it, pictures wouldn’t have turned out half as good if I wore the hospital provided one. Once again, just like Pretty Pushers gown, you can read about dearjohnnies and win a gown for yourself here.

Those first days before my milk came in on day 2 Alexis ate every 2 hours and slept sporadically (mostly stayed awake and alert) and pooped 1 and 2 diapers a day (which was exactly what I read and everyone tried to tell me was wrong). The next day Andrew drove home to pick up my mom, who stayed with us at the hospital for the day. She even held Alexis in her arms for a few hours just so that we could both get some sleep.

We both didn’t sleep at night because Alexis wouldn’t, so we weren’t even up to having visitors at the hospital – we were so exhausted from days of no sleep that started before delivery. To add insult to injury, medical personnel for some reason thought it was a good idea to keep coming in at night, turning lights full on and cheerfully and loudly announce that it’s time for them to take Alexis temperature right as we FINALLY put her to sleep.

One night this doctor comes in (after we had spent hours shushing and rocking her and finally got her to sleep) and insists on turning the brightest lights in the room and waking up Alexis because she needs a full body exam since “it’s been 24 hours”. It made no sense to me….  After he wakes her up and undresses her, he looks at the name tag and non-challantly announces that he’s got the wrong person. Lol I was ready to kill him right there and then.

{Swaddle in both pictures is by Bambino Land, purple onesie is by Best Baby Organics}

Originally, we were hoping not to introduce a pacifier until breastfeeding is established, but this girl LOVED and NEEDED to suck, so we gave in. It’s funny now because she spits every single one of them out.

Whenever they needed to take her somewhere to test her hearing or anything else, Andrew went with them. We never let her out of our sight and never let her be without at least one of us.

On day two We got cleared by both OB and ped to go home. By then I felt relatively good and had almost no bleeding. My body was still sore and it was a bit hard to get up but in the excitement of going home that got completely overlooked. I took a shower, brushed my hair, put some make up on and got into my going home dress, put my favorite cupcake footie on Alexis and felt like a new person, a new family, going home.

We only took a few shots on the way home and I would have really liked to have had Alexis out of the car seat, but they wouldn’t let us out that way. I still looked about 6 months pregnant going home (Thank you Boob Design dress for not making it obvious!), but by 2nd week I was back to “visibly” semi-flat stomach.

I loved driving home in the backseat with Lexi holding my thumb, only 2 days old and so adorable.

All in all, I consider my labor experience to be great, despite not doing it med-free and ending up with Pitocin. I got to labor for 10 hours without medication, I experienced the relief of an epidural without any side effects that sometimes follow it, I would totally do it again and pretty much with the same plan of action: try to get through it without pain relief, but in the end get an epidural if it’s too much to handle.

My next post will be Reflections on Birth Experience, where I’ll try to write my feelings and thoughts about the process, Hypnobabies, my hospital bag, the epidural and so on.

dearjohnnies Designer Hospital Gown

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

Dear Johnnies is another hospital gown meant for a slightly different purpose during labor and delivery.

This one you wouldn’t want to get dirty- it’s so pretty with its patterns and colors. It is designed exactly like your standard hospital gown so few hospitals should have a problem with it. But instead of dingy hospital colors and twisted old ties, you’ve got bright happy patterns AND ribbons (love it).

Every gown comes in a cute little matching pouch. The gown has arm and back snaps along with ties all the way down the backside for easy medical access, but without revealing all of your goods.
As soon as I was transferred into my postpartum recovery room, I couldn’t wait to change into my cute pink gown. It wasn’t even a matter of not being comfortable in anything else. I just wanted to look and feel pretty after going through a beautiful but, let’s admit it, dirty experience.


And then of course it allows for much more pleasant hospital photos. Try to imagine these same shots with a green patterned standard hospital issue gown. Yuck!
Not the same! Not the same!


HOW TO GET IT:

BUY IT: You can purchase any of the styles on Dear Johnnies website  with 20% OFF until 4/15/12 by using the promo code PREBABY2012

WIN IT: You can enter below to win a gown from Wellesley collection! You can also like their FB page and follow their Twitter for news and discounts.

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

There are two mandatory entries, after which you will have additional entries available,
and 1 daily entry for which you can come back to enter daily.
The winning entry will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Make sure to notate how you’re following the blog in the extra info field (entry #1). The entry won’t count if that information is missing.
Please make sure to visit Dear Johnnies’ Facebook Page and write on their wall which design you’d choose if you won.
The giveaway is open to US residents only. See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.

If you have a blog, there’re 2 entries each worth 10 points ( post our button on your blog’s sidebar and blog about the giveaway)

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then ENTER once the action is completed}

 

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was not compensated by Dear Johnnies. I received this gown in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions represented here are 100% my own

Birth Story Part I

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, My Pregnancy

I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me until now, but instead of taking all this time to write my full birth story, I should have broken it into parts. And while the full birth story is essentially written, I am still going to go ahead and break it down to make it more manageable. Don’t worry you won’t have to wait long for the other parts:
Birth Story Part II 
Birth Experience Reflections (hypnobabies, hospital bags, etc)
Breastfeeding Journey 

Preface:

If you’re new here, you’re welcome to read the following posts pertaining to Alexis’ birth: childbirth preparation, birth plan, hospital bags.

As many of you know I started preparing for labor a few months ahead. My hopes were to labor naturally without drugs, though I was always open to an epidural if such need presented itself. However, I was pretty confident I’d be able to have a natural birth experience  using Hypnobabies techniques barring any unforeseen circumstances. As I was getting closer to my 41 week deadline, I was told to schedule an induction date in case I got past 41 weeks. While I always wanted to avoid an induction, I was pretty sure that if I were to get one, my hypnobabies would go out the window (though many of you assured me it’s possible to labor naturally even with pitocin). In the end, the only thing I really wanted to avoid was a c-section, however I did realize a c section isn’t smth you “plan not to have”- it’s done when necessary, therefore in my mind there was no labor and birth experience end result that I would regret: natural, pitocin, epidural, c section- as long as my baby was here safe and sound.
Since I had never been in labor before I had no idea how it would go for me but I was putting all my faith into hypnobabies to help carry me through the contractions.

Birth story

My 41 week induction was scheduled for Wednesday evening with an application of Cervadil. Prior to that date I was doing anything and everything possible and safe to kick start my labor on my own: miles curcuit (which is what I think threw me into labor), walking, sex, etc.

Sunday night I spent most of the night not sleeping and trying to deal with pretty strong contractions that never got closer than 6-7 min apart.
All day Monday I was crampy and having light contractions. On Monday evening I started having strong contractions that kept getting closer together. I was using hypnobabies relaxation techniques to get through them. I labored in bed, on the birth ball, on the floor while hubby packed the rest of the things for the hospital. We were sure this was it. When the contractions got to about 3 minutes apart and it was difficult to handle them, I told Andrew that it was time to go. I was well beyond the excitement stage – this was serious! One of my fears was that I’d transition in a matter of minutes like my sister did and we wouldn’t make it to the hospital.
Well, let’s just say that fear was unfounded lol

I barely remember the ride to the hospital. I know I had my fuzzy blanket with me and that I thought it wasn’t that bad. I had my headphones in listening to HB tracks. I thought I was pretty focused on the tracks and relaxation and doing a decent job getting through every pressure wave.
We drove up and walked through the doors of the birth center. I couldn’t believe we had to actually come up to the guard and answer his “Can I help you?”
I don’t know… Do you see a very pregnant woman in the middle of the night looking miserable? lol I told him we were there to have our baby.
He had me take a seat while hubby parked the car.
About a minute later a nurse comes out and gives me a gown and a bag for my clothes to change into.

Michelle, the triage nurse, got me into a room and hooked me up to the monitors. She was really sweet and soft spoken. She quickly figured out that all the questions are to be directed to my husband and kept saying how cool it was that I was doing hypnosis and how well I was handling the contractions, which at that point, she told me, were 2-3 minutes apart over a minute long.
At some point during this process, which took a little over an hour, I started getting the shakes. In the back of my mind I was hoping it was transition, but now looking back at it, I’m pretty sure that was me getting sidetracked from my relaxation and actually tensing up at each contraction.

When she checked me I was 3.5 cm dilated and 40% effaced and after a quick call to the doctor told me we were staying.
That was just before midnight.

{In my labor room getting through a contraction before I even had a chance to change into my Pretty Pushers gown}

 

Now, based on most everyone’s experience, we were going in prepared to fight for our birth plan (certain things in it, at least). Hubby was the one who was supposed to be talking to L&D nurses to make sure things are done a certain way (or more like not done just for the sake of doing them).

Michelle left to get my paperwork and came back to admit me. I guess somehow she had a copy of our birth plan because, before we even mentioned anything, she asked us if a heplock was fine since we didn’t want an IV. We asked her if it’s ok if we skip heplock but we’ll totally do it if there’s a need to. She was so sweet about it too: “Oh yeah If you guys don’t want it, it’s fine. As long as you’re open to getting it, if we need to.”

That was the first shocker of the night. The one if two things, that even my OB said nurses will have a huge problem with, was a slam dunk.

So Michelle proceeded to go over things we could do:
We were fine to labor however we wanted, use birth ball, wear whatever we want, eat and drink, have 20 min on and off monitoring, no cervical checks, etc
She basically said if we’d like, we would just be left alone to do our thing with occasional visits from the nurse to put a monitor on.

I was honestly floored. I expected insistence on routine IVs, no food, continuous monitoring and a bunch of other “hospital protocols”. But she was so sweet and supportive and she had this nurturing quality about her. I could not have asked for more.

Once we settled in, I changed out of the hospital gown into my Pretty Pushers gown. I really loved having a cute gown to wear that had all the right access to medical personnel ( monitor, epidural) and was cheap enough that I wasn’t worried about getting it dirty. {You can read more about Pretty Pushers and win yourself a gown HERE}

We were assigned a nurse named Cynthia who was just as laid back as Michelle. She’d walk in every 30 minutes, put me on the monitor, didn’t really say much, just kept quiet and sweet. I have to say the L&D nurses made this experience a thousand times better and I am very thankful for their support!!!

I kept trying to hydrate to make sure I don’t get an IV, but a few hours after admittance, I started to feel sick to my stomach and just like my OB had warned me I promptly threw up the contents of my dinner earlier and later all my water into a bag. Cynthia offered me an anti nausea pill, which i declined, and warned me that if I continue throwing up, they’d have to hook me up to an IV. After I threw up again, I took the pill :)

This whole time I continued laboring with contractions that were coming every 2-3 minutes. It had been 7 hours since the strong contractions started and we all didn’t think it’d be much longer.

BOP I was doing the finger drop technique every time, however I am not sure how much it was really helping. I had never labored before so I wasn’t sure if the hypnobabies was taking the edge off or not. I could feel the contractins really well regardless how much I was relaxing and there was no real comfortable position for me to labor in. I remember feeling a lot of pressure on my pelvis, really overwhelming pressure during the contraction.  At the time I did think that it was due to my relaxation that I was handling the contractions. In retrospect, I am not exactly sure. End BOP

I kept going thinking that with strong contractions like these I must be near transition time and then I just have to get to 10 cm.

Around 4-5 am I started getting really tired. I hadn’t really slept the night before and here I was another night dealing with strong frequent contractions. I remember thinking that I’d take the pain so much better if I could just sleep. All I wanted was to put my head down and sleep, which is sort of weird when you’re in pain lol However, I was getting really worn out…. I’d slump over the bed and close my eyes and just wait for the contraction while I half slept in the meantime.

Soon enough I started thinking about an epidural. I voiced it to my husband who had been trained to know that it’s an emotional signpost meaning “I’m close to transition”. I knew that too but I was also soooo sleepy and tired I wasn’t sure I could take much longer of the same intensity. He held me off for a while and then we made a deal: I get checked for progress and then we go from there.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 Birth Story Part II

Pretty Pushers Giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

As you might have read in the first part of my Birth Story, I was given an opportunity to try out a Pretty Pushers gown.

While many might not think what you wear while laboring matters, I think the right clothes help a person relax better and feel more “themselves”. For some people that might mean wearing your own clothes, for others- a hospital gown, then there are those who like to go naked and those who feel that childbirth is a special enough event to wear a special gown. And of course, let’s not forget hospital protocols, many of which don’t allow for personal clothes and need a gown that has proper access to medical devices such as an epidural and monitoring.

Pretty Pushers is a company that makes those special labor gowns. The gowns are only $24-28 and are meant to be thrown out after labor, which is very convenient since you don’t have to worry about getting it dirty. They come in a variety of colors and themes, my two favorites of which are “I dream of sushi” (because I truly couldn’t wait to have sushi) and “I dream of coffee”, since it’s my favorite lavender color.

I spent my whole labor in a Pretty Pushers gown and the nurses had no problems with attaching me to monitors or checking me and everyone commented on what a cute gown I wore and how they’d never seen anything like that. My 2nd shift nurse said “Well, you sure do look fabulous!” :) Yes, thank you, definitely something I WANT TO HEAR on my labor day! :)

BUMP UPDATES

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

Labor Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

Just a quick update.

Last night after lots of walking, sex, Miles circuit, and a “Baby come out” hypnosis script I started having strong contractions that fit the pattern of real labor contractions (from the standpoint that they originate in the back, travel around to the front, kind of like a belt). The painless contractions I had before were just tightening and light cramps.

We stayed up timing them till 2 am, they were coming 8-10 min apart on average, lasting 45-60 seconds.
At 2 we decided to sleep a bit, though I’m not sure how much sleep I got since the contractions were strong enough that they kept waking me up.
At 6 am we went for a walk and went back to sleep till 11 or so.

The intensity isn’t so strong now since I’m moving around now (lying with contractions is the worst), but they are still 8-10 min apart.
I do occasionally have to stop talking or walking when one comes, while others are a bit less intense as long as I’m not lying down.

To be honest I’m not sure what it all means… I can tell these are the real deal (at least more real than the Monday ones were), but I’m not sure whether I’m going to progress and when. The 4 hours of more frequent but painless Monday contractions dilated me to 1 cm and effaced me by 40%, so I am hoping these stronger contractions are doing a bit more.

In a strange masochistic way I look forward to each contraction, but I guess it’s better than dreading them since I’m sure I’ll get to that point.

For the girls with my EDD who are also racing against the Thursday induction clock (Jordan and Jessica), I’m not exactly sure what made my contractions pick up in intensity and I’m not the kind of person to assign things to anything but proven facts, but…
I felt that the Miles Circuit (recommended by some of you) and the “Baby Come out” hypnobabies script that Crystal, a reader from Canada, who also happens to be a hypno doula, was so kind to email me, were the two things that helped things move along. That’s when I noticed the pick up in contractions, whether that’s what caused it or not.

I’ll be running out for errands now, with at least our labor and postpartum bags in the car in case this progresses quickly all of a sudden. But my hope is that by this evening/next morning the contractions will get close together.

On a separate note, I know a lot of you have been waiting for Boob Design to open their US store and I can tell you it’s finally here! (read about Boob Design here)
I don’t believe the spring line is out yet last time I checked, but you can snag some nursing and maternity items on winter clearance in the meantime.

Also, if you’re into organic clothes, B Nature that I wrote about here is having an amazing 50% off sale on super cute organic baby sets on GILT, too.

Latest belly shots:

{sorry for the lame cell phone shots}

40 weeks 1 day

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Wearing: Boob Nursing shirt from spring collection and one of the 2 bottoms that still fit my belly: a maternity skirt my friend gave me.

40 weeks 3 days

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Wearing: Another Boob Nursing shirt from spring collection and the other one of the 2 bottoms that still fit my belly: a maternity skirt my friend gave me.

Do you guys see a pattern? I’m out of maternity clothes :) Lexie, come out!

Birth Plan

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

PLEASE READ: I can’t believe I have to make this disclosure but after a lot of initial unsolicited and close-minded (and some helpful and nice) input on the hospital bag post, I’d like to say this:

This is MY birth plan. I am NOT interested in what YOU think my birth is going to be like. Nor what YOU think my hospital will or will not allow, nor what YOU think I can or cannot do.
I did run this whole thing past my OB who delivers exclusively at the hospital I’ll be in and got an approval and signature on everything with a few maybes, with his cell phone number to call in case something isn’t working out.

That being said, you’re welcome to share your experience of YOUR birth and birth plans, as well as give advice based on FACTS pertaining to MY birth specifically, as long as you have read previous posts and know exactly where I stand (in other words, you aren’t a first time visitor who seems to think that they know anything about what I want or need).
I’m very interested in any hypnobabies/hypnobirth birth plans and how things worked out.
Before commenting, please read Childbirth training post, if you haven’t before. Thank you!

I am quite open to many things if need be, however this is my best case scenario of how I’d like things to go in case of a normal uncomplicated and not drawn out labor.
My awesome OB agreed pretty much with everything and as he was going through the points, he kept going “That’s how it normally is” to almost every point.

Obviously, this plan is going to have to be modified, if Alexis doesn’t show up by Thursday and I have to go in for an induction. A few things on here will go straight out the door in an induction situation.
{And obviously, this isn’t the format I used for the actual birth plan. This is just a breakdown. }

BIRTH PLAN

Note: since I’ll be doing hypnosis for relaxation, my husband will be the one communicating with the nurses most of the time.

  • Minimum personnel in the room. No interns or students in the delivery room.
    I’ll be doing hypnosis so I want it as quiet as possible. They can teach kids on someone else. {people relax, it is said as a joke. My own good friend and MIL are both nurses, recently out of training. I just won’t be able to concentrate on hypnosis with people in and out of the room}
  • No regular cervical checks. I don’t want to be informed of progress, either.
    I’m really digging the emotional stages of labor and see them over and over again in birth stories I read, so I would rather go by that since it’s more accurate than dilation. Funny story: my sister who gave birth in Russia 18 years ago told me about her experience. She basically had painless contractions that started at 8pm. At 12am (4 hours later), they suddenly picked up and she was screaming in pain. They checked her- 4cm. No way she can labor for hours like that she thought (there were no epidurals available). 30 minutes later- she was 10 cm and ready to push. My nephew came out with 4 pushes. Another great example of how emotional stages of labor are way more indicative of progress than dilation ( if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read it in Bradley Book)
  • No IV unless necessary (hep lock is fine).
    Truth be told I really don’t even want a hep lock. I don’t know how comfortable or uncomfortable I will be and I’d really like to avoid have a needle attached to my arm. Or being pumped full of fluids. But I realize I might not be able to not have either. I am, however, open to an IV, if for some reason, I am unable to hydrate properly and/or my labor is taking a long time. Fluids have its use- that’s for sure- just not as a routine thing in every labor. This was the first item that doc said we might have an issue with the nurses over.
  • No drugs whatsoever (including induction drugs, unless we agreed to them prior to ).
    I don’t want any painkillers, no Demerol or anything of that kind. I’d go for an epidural if I can’t handle the intensity of childbirth before going for other drugs.
  • No Cytotec if induction is necessary
    OB said they don’t ever use it anyways.
  • No amniotomy.
    Really needs no explanation. My doc agrees.
  • I’d like to be able to drink liquids, eat easily digested foods (fruit) during labor, if needed.
    Doc insists that I will not WANT to eat once I’m in active labor. Im not disagreeing but I’d like to decide for myself. I’m not planning on eating anything but easily digested foods, like fruit or juices, or maybe those bars I packed in early labor.
  • No continuous fetal monitoring. 20 minutes on , 20 minutes off is fine.
    This according to the doc is going to be a hard one. The funny part is I totally understand why they want to monitor, however I don’t want to be tethered down. I might be perfectly comfortable in bed and then sure bring it on. But based on everything I’ve read that’s usually not the case. So we are going to allow 20 on and off initially because I totally get why they want it and sort of play it by ear otherwise. If I am comfortable using hypnosis in bed or where the monitor can reach, I am not opposed to constant monitoring, but if it’s going to limit the type of relaxation techniques I can use, then it’s going to have to go. OB wasn’t happy about it, because he gets to track all his laboring patients on his iPhone ( how cool is that?), but he’s too sweet and caring to say no.
  • No epidural unless we specifically ask for it ourselves.
    This is sort of a no-brainer, but I just don’t want to be asked if I want an epidural until I request it myself.
  • No loud noises or push coaching.
    That only refers to initial pushing. Once the head is crowning, my OB will be directing my pushing to prevent tears. I don’t tend to need a lot of loud cheering on and we don’t want the atmosphere to be crazy loud, so none of that “PUSH! PUSH PUSH!” for me. On the other hand maybe I’ll be surprised and that’s exactly what will get me going.
  • I would prefer not to spend any time lying flat on my back, including during pushing stage.
    This one is non-negotiable! Half the hospital births I’ve seen they have women lying on their backs. 45 degree angle is fine, on my back- no!
  • I’d like to push in a sitting squat or whatever position I find comfortable.
    This one I’m really curious about what position I will find best to push it. No way to know until you get there :)
  • No episiotomy.
    Luckily doc agrees.
  • During the pushing stage, I would appreciate warm moist compresses and perineal massage to reduce risk of tearing.
    It’d be really cool if doc remembers to do that. Otherwise hopefully hubby will be in a gathered enough state to remind him.
  • No pulling on baby’s head. I would like to push her out myself.
  • Please delay cord clamping for at least 1-2 minutes. The cord clamping thing was initially “until it’s done pulsating”. After discussing it with the doctor he said that the longer you keep the cord unclamped and the more blood gets in (plus he brought up something to do with the baby being above mothers chest or something like that), the more bilirubin needs to be broken down. So it’s a fine balance between “yes you want the baby to take as much blood as possible to prevent anemia but at the same time you might run the risk of severe jaundice that’s a lot more dangerous”. To be honest I haven’t had time (or more like desire) to look up and see if what he’s saying is correct. He is a really caring doctor so I doubt he’d be saying something that it’s partially true. So we decided to let the cord pulsate for a few minutes and then clamp it. That way we get some extra blood into Alexis, but don’t run a big risk of jaundice.

BABY PLAN

  • We will provide blankets and will dry the baby ourselves {Actually, Andrew will as I’ll be “busy” with other things)
  • Please allow us time to get to know our baby and breastfeed (1-2 hours) before any newborn procedures.
  • All newborn procedures to be done in the room
  • Please no baths
  • Please keep low voices and be gentle
  • Please no eye ointment and no Hep B vaccine.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO formula, sugar water, water.
  • NO artificial nipples (pacifiers or bottles)
Hope this helps some of you who are in the process of writing a birth plan. I will have to change it if induction is necessary by Thursday. I don’t think I’ll post the updated plan since there’ll be far more important things to do. What I will do, however, is write a post on how it worked out for us. I assume, things won’t go exactly as we want, so concessions will have to be made, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all works out.