Friday, April 22, 2011

34 Weeks

Another week has come and gone, and it was another exhausting and busy one. (I feel like I say that every single week). This has got to be the worst belly picture I've taken so far. It was taken last night at about 10:30...after we'd gotten home from a hospital class (more on that later) and before I had to bake a cake for David to take to work. I was very tired and more than a little cranky, but it is what it is. :) Here we are (feeling cranky) at 34 weeks, 4 days:
On Monday night, we had our very last Empowered Birth class. I'm sad that it's over, but I am a little glad to not have to go downtown every Monday night. It was a really good class...probably the second-best one, behind the medical interventions class. Last week, our homework was to put together our comfort measures bag to bring to Monday's class. During class on Monday night, we had a labor simulation, which was pretty interesting! Angela had some kind of "music" on her iPod that mimicked contractions. Apparently, it had been playing the entire time we were in class, but it was only after about 30 minutes into class that one of the other students heard it the first time (because it was playing really low). That's when Angela told us what the "music" was (several of us thought it was someone's cellphone going off). She explained that the "music" had been playing, and several "contractions" had been played before we noticed them. She said that's how labor starts...often times women will feel something, but it's not bothersome or painful, and it doesn't keep you from going about your regular day. But then, there comes a point when you think, "Okay, I must be in labor!" and the contractions progress. They'll be a little uncomfortable, but still not enough so to keep you from doing whatever you were doing. Then, they'll become more pronounced and you'll really have to pay attention and work through them. The "musical contractions" gradually got stronger, longer, and closer together (just like real contractions will). At this point, Angela gave each Mom an ice cube that we were supposed to grip tightly during each contraction (to simulate the discomfort of a contraction) and the Dads were supposed to use our comfort measures bag to help us get through each one. It was a great simulation. I know that holding an ice cube isn't really going to compare to those contractions (especially the ones during transition, from what I hear), but it was certainly enough to get us thinking about what we can do (relaxation, rhythm, etc.) to work through them. That Angela is an awesome teacher. I would recommend her classes without hesitation to anyone who is interested in prepared childbirth classes. At the end of the class, we all got together to take a group picture. Here we are (minus one Mom, who had a homebirth that morning!):

A good looking group, huh? Another couple's due date was last night, but we haven't heard anything from them, so we're assuming baby is still hanging out in the womb. :) And the couple in the back on the far left has the same due date as us! I'm looking forward to the emails with all of the birth stories.

We got to spend a couple of nights at home this week, which has become a rarity. I honestly can't tell you what we did on Tuesday or Wednesday, except that on Wednesday afternoon after work, I came home and slept on the couch for an hour and a half because I was so stinkin' tired. Then, I got up, fixed supper, piddled around the house a little, then went back to bed! For a couple of days, I had a really bad backache (right between my shoulders) that just wouldn't go away. I couldn't get comfortable at night, so I didn't sleep well at all, and I guess it just caught up to me. Finally it's gone away, and I've slept pretty well the last couple of nights.

Last night (Thursday), we went to another of our hospital classes. This one was called Anesthesia for Labor and Birth. I do want to attempt an unmedicated birth, but I thought it would be good information to have. Well, it turns out that the class was a complete waste.of.time from beginning to end...including our tour of L&D. The nurse who taught the class was not a L&D nurse, so she couldn't answer the majority of the questions folks had. Then, about halfway through the class, they brought in an anesthesiologist to talk about spinal blocks and general anesthesia...and it was quite obvious that the poor man had never seen the PowerPoint slides before in his life, and seemed to have just found out a few minutes prior that he would be talking to us! It was just a mess. The only thing I got out of the class was this: 98% of women who deliver at Baptist Hospital East get an epidural. Holy cow! It makes me a little nervous about attempting an unmedicated labor there. Will they try to pressure me into getting an epidural? Will they be patient with me as I labor? Will they think I'm crazy if I make a lot of noise (which is a particular hangup I do have about the whole thing)? Will they be able to offer support and encouragement as the labor progresses?

We were also able to go on a tour of L&D after that class, which was pretty pitiful, too. Our group was so large that we wouldn't all fit on one elevator, and the elevator with the other group got stuck, so that was quite entertaining. We saw a postpartum room, walked by the nursery, and that was it. We didn't get to see L&D at all because they were "too busy." I guess that means the rooms were all full, but they didn't really say. Of that tour, the best information we learned was what doors to go to when we go to the hospital. So even if David isn't sure when to take me, at least he knows where to go!

Today is the Good Friday holiday, so I'm off work. I'm thinking of heading to Louisville to see about finding "coming home" outfits for Sprout. I need to find a little girl and little boy outfit, just in case. I may head to Costco, too. It's been awhile since we went, and I'd really like to have flank steak for supper one night. YUM! Then this evening is our community-wide Good Friday service. We haven't had one in awhile, so I'm excited to attend.

Tomorrow afternoon, David's side of the family (the Klingenfuses) are giving me a shower, which promises to be a fun time. They are a wonderful group of people who have accepted me as their own family, which I appreciate so much. They're very excited for Sprout's arrival, which I love!

Sunday is Easter! We'll head to church that morning (and Jeff, our pastor, promises that "Easter will kick our kiester" this year), then spend the afternoon with the Klingenfuses at Easter dinner (hosted by Mama). There's always so much food (good food)! And I plan to allow myself to have a little dessert. Surely that will be's Easter after all!

Sunday also marks 35 weeks...which doesn't seem possible. If I think about it too long, I really realize how soon Sprout could be here, then I hyperventilate a little. We're still not ready. There's so much to do! But we'll get it done, and even if we don't, it'll all be okay. As long as Sprout gets here healthy and safe, that's all I'm worried about!

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