Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Birth Plan

I am very fortunate that my hospital provides a template birthing plan. We can check off items that are important to us and can add in additional things as needed. Our teacher/nurse in our birthing class stressed the importance of using this form opposed to our own since the nurses are already familiar with this one. This allows for our wishes to be better and easily known by the staff who are assisting us bring our baby boy in this world.
Obviously, this is only a guideline of our wishes. Everything might be different if/when things change during the actual labor and delivery of our sweet baby boy.
And since I am neurotic, I have mine ready to be placed in my hospital bag after I make a few copies of it. Yes, I do realize I am only 29 weeks pregnant, but as I told you before, I like to be prepared.
Here's how mine is looking:
I would like to have intermittent fetal monitoring, with physician permission. I think this is smart - would make me feel more at ease to visually see that everything is okay with our baby.
Before possible epidural, I would like to walk during labor, with physician permission. They say walking helps bring out the baby quicker.
I am open to an epidural. In la la land, I would like to think I can do this without any medicine. In the real world, I fear I don’t have a strong threshold for pain and will want this procedure. On the plus side, our hospital will not give you an epidural unless you have a pattern of active labor.
I am NOT open to IV pain medicine - i.e. analgesics. When we learned of the side effects during class, this does not seem worth it to me or baby.
I am not concerned with positioning for pushing. I'm willing to do whatever is easiest on me, my baby and the staff.
I want pushing with medical direction. This is my first baby... I have no clue what to do and prefer the experts to guide me the best way.
I want my baby place on my chest immediately after birth. Thankfully our hospital encourages this therefore, assuming nothing is wrong with our little boy, this will happen.
I would like my partner to cut the cord after it stops pulsating. Matt says he wants to do it and I was told me and our baby boy won't feel any pain so why not?
I would like to hold my baby skin-to-skin as soon as possible. Again, this is normal practice at our hospital.
I would like to breast-feed as soon as possible after delivery while in the labor room. Also normal practice.
I do not want my baby going into the nursery. I would prefer him to stay with us. Plus, we were told this is highly encouraged.
I do not want an episiotomy unless medically necessary. I learned from my class that they prefer not to do this since a natural tear heals quicker than having them cut me.
I would like a perineal massage. I still need to read more about this, but seems like a good idea to help prepare that area.
I would like a local anesthetic during repair of tear/episiotomy. Duh! I don’t want to feel a needle going through my skin as they sow me up.
I wish to exclusively breast-feed. I really hope this works out for us.
I wish to breast-feed; however, if it is medically necessary to provide supplementation, I would like to provide expressed breast milk before formula. I don’t want my baby boy to starve - this is a no brainer.
I do not want my baby given a pacifier. At the very least, I want him to get used to breast-feeding before we give him one. I am hoping he never need it though.
I would like to meet with a lactation consultant as soon as possible. Why turn done any help offered to me?
I want my baby circumcised. Might as well get this done now opposed to later. I hate to think of him in any pain, but at least he will be too young to remember it.
I don’t have any visitor limitation requests. As of now, very few people will know when I am in labor.
I do not wish to have medical students involved in my care. I might change my mind on this. BUT I fear with the additional people in the room, I might feel overwhelmed.
Cesarean Delivery:
I want my husband present. Double duh! I need a calming face.
I want photos of the baby as soon as possible. Yet another reason to have my husband there. LOL!
In the event that baby requires special care:
I would like to provide breast milk and pump as soon as possible. Same reasons as before.
I want my husband to accompany the baby if transferred to another hospital. I doubt he will be transferred somewhere else since I very carefully made sure we were at the right hospital.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hospital Tour and Birthing Classes

Hmmm... where to begin... where to begin...
Tuesday and Thursday we had a 2 part hospital birthing class followed by a hospital tour. I learned a bunch of things, took a bunch of notes and plan on having my birthing plan and hospital bag (mostly) packed by the end of the month. I have already made lists of things I want included and now just need to follow through to get my tasks completed.
I'm going to explain all this backwards since it will be easier for me...
Our hospital tour lasted approximately 30 minutes and our teacher/nurse was very informative. I'm glad we had her opposed to someone else. Not that I can really compare her to anyone else, but I'm sure you know what I mean.
Here's what I learned: (Might be a bit jumbled but this is really for my own memory.)
They do not offer pre-registration.
Registration is done on the labor and delivery 2nd floor only. When we get there, they will ask me questions to evaluate where I am in reference to delivery.
I'll go straight to a delivery room if they believe I am going to be delivering our baby boy sometime today. If they need to make sure I am in labor, I will go to the OB Emergency room. (Sounds more intimidating then it really is according to our teacher/nurse.) If they need to do some sort of monitoring, such as monitoring of blood pressure, I will go to the outpatient area where most moms go home from since they aren't usually ready.
Two waiting rooms are to the right of the check-in desk and the labor and delivery and all other places I, the mom, might go are through locked doors on the left.
Within labor and delivery there are 19 rooms with a huge nurse's station in the middle. This area makes the number '9'.
All rooms/moms are allowed to have up to 3 guests at any given time. Badges will be given to us to give to our family to come visit us.
I'll get full say on the temperature and the lightening in my room.
The room is covered with computers, monitors for me and baby, an IV pump, epidural pump and infant care area. All rooms also have their own bathrooms.
I asked and was told these rooms are near sound proof with the door shut. Guess we will find out soon enough.
Bottom portion of the bed can come undone for delivery.
During delivery, I will have a team of three people - the OB, OB technician and a nurse. Baby will have his own team off to the side.
During delivery, the OB will use a giant space ship looking light to ensure he/she can see everything easily. I can have any other lights off if wanted.
The nurse will up the room temperature if needed to ensure the room is warm enough once our son is born.
Immediately after he is born, he will be placed on my chest for skin-to skin contact for about 45 minutes. During this time, they will clean him, suction him, allow the cord to finish pulsing and then cut it, give him Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes of life and ID him (on arm and leg which will match mine and Matt's).
Not sure when, but he will be diapered and given a hat before being placed for skin-to-skin or maybe during. I can't remember.
After this, I will then be able to breastfeed him for the first time.
He will THEN be weighed and measured.
At some point, he will also be given antibiotic eye ointment, vitamin K shot, newborn screening test and a hearing test.
Because of all this, we will remain in the labor and delivery unit for 1.5 to 2 hours after delivery before moving to the post-partum room.
The post-partum unit is on the third floor. We will get a behind the scene ride in my bed/walk to the room on the third floor but family will have to go back to the first floor, walk out of the elevator and go right past the Baby Bistro store and get on Elevator Set A. They have to switch elevators because the post-partum unit is located in a different tower then the labor and delivery unit - it is located in the newer part of the hospital.
Here, all visitors will be checked in, given a cold/flu screening and given the room number (if needed). They will be given a bright pink visitor badge indicating they are authorized to be in the area. It is suggested you limit your guests.
The post-partum rooms are much smaller than the labor and delivery rooms. The sleeping device aka bed, is also much shorter than the one in the labor and delivery room. Matt might have issues sleeping on it.
This is where we will have a one on one demonstration on giving our son his first bath. She told us we could take as many pictures as we wanted during this time.
He will also have any additional testing done here. At some point, they will take him to be circumcised too.
My nurse will also by our son's nurse. BUT, while here, my OB will come visit to check on me and his pediatrician will come to check on him.
I will be served breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I think Matt will be on his own for food unless I share. She also mentioned the nurses have a giant stack of take-out menus for any craving I may have.
Our fake baby even had fake boy parts!
I wasn't expecting that when Matt took off his diaper!
Before our hospital tour, we learned how to swaddle a baby and how to change a diaper. Matt did very good on both of these things. Somehow, I already knew how to swaddle a baby, but I went ahead and took notes for later just in case. And of course, I knew how to change a diaper from years of babysitting when I was younger. However, I have only ever changed girl diapers. I assume boys are a little different. Especially considering she told us we could wipe our little boy in any direction unlike girls who should be wiped front to back.
Within our two actual birthing classes, we were given good handouts and I took additional notes to help me remember everything. I like to be well prepared and informed.
For example, we learned:
How to time a contraction
When to go to the hospital
What to expect in each stage of labor
What medical pain reliefs can be given
What is an episiotomy
What is lochia
What his poop will look like
Breastfeeding basics
And much more.
Lots of information in such a short amount of time.
Monday, I have a breastfeeding essentials class. Maybe with all my newfound knowledge I'll be a pro at all this. Hey, you never know!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

28 Weeks

*I'm going to start addressing these to my son. I am planning on printing them and placing them in his baby book. I think this will be a neat thing for him to have and enjoy one day. If he doesn’t enjoy reading them, maybe his future wife or children will get a kick out of them. *

How far along: 28 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: You are the size of an eggplant. You weigh approximately 2.5 pounds and will continue to grow 0.5 pounds each week until you are born. Whoa! If you actually grow 0.5 pounds a week and I actually deliver you the week you are due, you'll be 8.5 pounds! Let's hope that’s not the case. I wouldn't mind if you are a little smaller than 8.5 pounds when you are born.
Length is: Approximately 14.8 inches or 37.6 cm head to heel.
Developmental milestones: You are still growing thicker skin and your bones are starting to harden more.
Weight gain: According to my doctor's scale on August 7th, I have only gained 1 pound from my last appointment on July 9th. However, to be fair, it should be noted my July appointment was in the afternoon and my August appointment was in the morning after I had fasted for 12 hours and only had 12 ounces of a sugary drink inside of me. Since my first visit with the OBGYN doctor on May 8th when I was 14 weeks, I have gained 14 pounds total. From the first time I kept track of my weight at the fertility clinic, which was on March 12th at 4 weeks, I have gained a total weight of 20 pounds.
I'm going to go over 200 pounds which I hate, but I just keep telling myself I am growing a strong healthy baby boy.
Sleep: This varies greatly. Some nights, I sleep great and only wake up once to pee. Those are the best nights! Other nights, I have a hard time falling asleep and/or I wake up several times throughout the night and then have a hard time falling back to sleep. I was also told by my husband I snored in my sleep Monday evening - August 10th. Evidently he tried to wake me up to get me to stop but I just fell back to sleep in the same position and continued to snore. According to him, I was snoring so bad he was forced to move to our guest bed. Once there, I heard him run into something and went to check on him. He was fine. He still slept in there though. Made me feel a little sad. Luckily, I haven’t snored since that night therefore daddy hasn't had to sleep in there again. Must have been the way I was sleeping???  
Best moment(s) of the week: No gestational diabetes, excellent blood count, only gained 1 pound, you measured right where you should and your heartbeat was strong. A wonderful doctor appointment! Another highlight has been feeling you move around even more then you had been moving. I know this will start to slow down soon, but I am enjoying it in the meantime.
Movement: You move all the time! Usually you'll move for a few minutes at a time and then slow down and start again. You seem most active while I am sitting at my desk while working and during the evenings. You are such an active baby boy! Daddy and I are convinced you are going to be strong.
Cravings: Nothing new here. I am interested to know if you will end up liking the foods I have been constantly eating while pregnant. I guess time will tell on this one.
Gender: You're a BOY!!!
Belly button in or out: Still in and I'm hoping it stays in.
Wedding ring: I haven’t had a change with this... wedding rings are on and loose.
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nothing thankfully. I hope this lasts throughout the rest of my pregnancy. Being sick is defiantly no fun.
What I miss: Nothing when I have so much to look forward to in the near future.
What I'm looking forward to: Holding you in my arms and kissing you all over. I am very curious to see who you look like - mommy or daddy.
Labor signs: None thank goodness!
Symptoms: I am having swelling in my feet every single day. Usually manageable, but sometimes very painful. Your daddy is sweet and rubs my feet whenever I ask without complaint. I am very glad my hands haven’t swelled. Would make my job at work a bit harder.
Nursery: Your dresser is painted. I am still waiting a little longer for it to no longer smell like paint, but I am making a plan on what needs to go where within the dresser. I have also been looking online for whale vinyl cutouts for your dresser and maybe the walls. I like that they are removable which makes it convenient for when we decide to sell the house and move (hopefully) to a different state.
Emotions: I'm feeling wonderful! I feel very blessed to get to experience pregnancy even on days when my outlook could use a little help.