Week 35 – Prenatal Tour at the Hospital

November 27, 2013

This Wednesday November 27, we had a hour to the Labor & Delivery Unit and Maternity Unit at the hospital. It was a one-hour and half tour. An experience nurse at L&D unit guided the tour with tons of information. Very helpful and informative. Highly recommended for first-time parents. You will know where to go to if you are in labor, where to park, what to bring, what to expect in the hospital, what facility the hospital provides for your labor, etc. This tour certainly make me more comfortable to prepare for my labor experience.

Week 34 – Natural Birth, Medicated Birth or C-section?

November 22, 2013

So far we have had 4 prenatal classes at the local college. The topics are focus on Labor and Delivery choice and medication options during laboring. I am in 34 weeks now so it’s also the time to really think about how to cope with laboring.

First of all, I am very worried about my labor – I am afraid that I might have trouble giving birth due to my age and physical condition. I don’t know if my cervix will be able to dilate to 10cm (who knows?); I don’t know if my pelvic bone will be wide enough for baby to pass … etc. – I know these unknown are the same to all pregnant women and everything has to cope with these issues if they want to be a mom. My rational me told me not to worried about these uncertainty since it won’t change anything – it will only make myself more stressful at the last a few weeks of pregnancy.  I should really focus on the positive part – my baby is doing well and I am in good shape and good hands. I have my DH and a Douala to support me during laboring. I should just enjoy the last a few weeks of pregnancy!

I think I have low tolerance of pain – I need to take pain killer even for my menstrual cramps. Labor contractions are more  intense than menstrual cramps. I think I will be open to medications for pain management. I am not against to c-section if it’s medically necessary. As know some people really want to have natural birth but they still ended up with c-section after the painstaking laboring efforts – that’s what I don’t want to experience. But this is not under anybody’s control. I have expressed this concern to my OB but it seems he is not too worried about this. He said most likely I won’t have a big baby and it should be fine. But who knows what will happen. Let’s just don’t worried too much for now.

Week 33 – Braxton Hicks Contractions

November 15, 2013

Even since I noticed a Braxton Hick around week28, it became more frequent in the last a couple of weeks. Sometimes I even have 4 or 5 times Braxton Hicks within an hour. I checked books and found out that it’s normal for my uterus to practice mile contractions like Braxton Hick, as long as it doesn’t come with cramps and pain. I just feel discomfort and tightness in my belly.

Below is information of Braxton from Internet research:

What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic uterine contractions that start about 6 weeks into your pregnancy, although you won’t be able to feel them that early. You probably won’t start to notice them until sometime after mid-pregnancy, if you notice them at all. (Some women don’t.) They get their name from John Braxton Hicks, an English doctor who first described them in 1872.

How can I tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and true labor contractions?

In the days or weeks before labor, Braxton Hicks contractions may intermittently become rhythmic, relatively close together, and even painful, possibly fooling you into thinking you’re in labor. But unlike true labor, during this so-called false labor the contractions don’t grow consistently longer, stronger, and closer together.

What can I do if my Braxton Hicks contractions are making me uncomfortable?

If you’re within a few weeks of your due date, try these measures:

  • Change your activity or position. Sometimes walking provides relief. At other times, resting eases contractions. (True labor contractions, on the other hand, will persist and progress regardless of what you do.)
  • Take a warm bath to help your body relax.
  • Try drinking a couple of glasses of water, since these contractions can sometimes be brought on by dehydration.
  • Try relaxation exercises or slow, deep breathing. This won’t stop the Braxton Hicks contractions, but it may help you cope with the discomfort. (Use this opportunity to practice some of the pain-management strategies you’ve learned in your childbirth preparation class.)

Week 32 – Hire a Doula

November 8, 2013

doulaWe interviewed a doula this Monday, November 4. We found her from a local doula association’s website. She has 6 years of doula experience with 19 client testimonials on her profile. She seems enthusiastic about what she is doing. Her fee is $800, including a free consultation, 2 prenatal visit with one-hour message at week 38; labor from 7-minute contraction till 2 hours after giving birth; and finally 2 postpartum visits.

Although the fee seems pretty high, we decided to hire her since we have no other family members to provide us emotional and physical support before and after delivery. Plus DH are not comfortable with seeing blood – He is worried that he might not be able to support me in the delivery room. With the help of doula, we are hoping a smoother delivery experience.

Studies have shown that having a Doula present at birth results in:

  • 50% reduction in Caesarean birth rates
  • 25% shorter labour
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in Oxytocin use
  • 30% reduction in Analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps or vacuum deliveries

Researches show that women who have used a doula at birth are more satisfied with their births, feel more confident before and after the birth, show a quicker rate of bonding with their newborn, are less likely to have post-partum depression, and more likely to breastfeed.

Week 31 – Prenatal Class

November 1, 2013

prenatal_classThis Tuesday, Oct 29, we started our first prenatal class at a local college. 2 hours/class/week, 6 week in a row. We will learn how to prepare for delivery and breast feeding and baby care after birth, etc. Prenatal class is really good for first time parents, especially if there are no one in your family can share their experience with you.

There were 13 couples in the class. The first class we mainly got to know each other and shared what we are doing, etc. We talked to a couple who has exactly the same due date as us. They mentioned they have been reading to the baby and they hired a doula for extra support. We think we should do the same. I have been listening to light music and two yoga classes a week to relax myself which is good. I have asked DH to talk to baby, however he is not that interested in doing it. Maybe reading story is an alternative.  Regarding doula, I’ve heard about that from an online forum but didn’t have chance to think about it. I should do some research to see if it’s a good idea. Anyway, getting an extra help is always good – considering we have no close ones to turn to when we really need help.