Sunday, January 15, 2012

37 weeks -- i.e. full term!

I made it! This week I hit 37 weeks.  Yay!!!!!!!!

The last few weeks have just been such a blur.  Every week since 24 weeks, I kept thinking, he could survive.  He could survive.  Now, not only could he survive, he's considered full term!  Obviously I want him to hang around a little longer to get bigger and stronger, but he could be born any time.

At my 36 week appointment, I was 1-2 cm dilated, 60% effaced, and at a -3 station.  This week I was 1 cm dilated, 70% effaced, and at a -3 station.  So I could stay pregnant for 5 more weeks or have this baby tomorrow!

I've just loved being pregnant.  Especially the last few weeks.  He's so active--it's really fun to feel him moving and rumbling around.  And I feel pretty good.  I've had bouts with some of the common pregnancy ailments (occasional heartburn, occasional insomnia, a little bit of foot swelling, etc.) but overall it's been good.  Recently I've started having some minor cramps (braxton-hicks contractions?) and those are less fun.  And he's getting big enough that some of his movements actually hurt a little bit!

Anyway, I promised to post our "birth plan," so here it is:

Birth Preferences
Dear Hospital Staff,
We trust in your expertise and thank you in advance for your support during our birth.  Below is our “ideal” birthing scenario, but at the end of the day our ultimate goal is for a healthy baby and mother.  We realize that in the event of a life-threatening emergency we will be relying on your professional judgment.  If the labor is normal, we ask for no interventions unless agreed upon.  Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.  Thanks!
Labor and Delivery
·       I ask that doctors and hospital staff discuss all procedures with me before they are performed.
·       Please ask doctors and hospital staff to knock before entering unless there is an emergency.
·       I would like to be free to walk, change positions, and use the bathroom as needed or desired.
·       Please do not administer an IV.  If needed, I would prefer a heparin lock. 
·       I plan to remain hydrated and energized by drinking and eating moderate amounts at my own discretion.
·       I would like a quiet, soothing environment, with dim lights and minimal interruptions.
·       Please limit the number of vaginal exams.
·       I prefer that fetal heart tones be monitored intermittently with an external monitor or Doppler.
·       I would like the freedom to push and deliver in any position I like.

Labor Augmentation/Induction
·       I would like to avoid induction unless it is medically necessary.
·       If induction is necessary, I would like to discuss using prostaglandin gel or means other than Pitocin.
·       Please do not rupture my membranes artificially unless medically indicated and after discussion with me.

Anesthesia/Pain Medication
·       Please do not offer an epidural or other pain medication unless I request them.

Perineal Care
·       I prefer not to have an episiotomy unless it is medically indicated.

Cesarean Section Delivery
·       I feel very strongly that I would like to avoid a cesarean delivery.
·       If a cesarean is medically necessary, I would like our plans below to be followed as closely as possible.

Immediately After the Birth
·       Please allow the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it is cut.
·       Please place Baby on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.
·       I would like to breastfeed Baby immediately.
·       I prefer to wait for spontaneous delivery of the placenta and do not want Pitocin or pulling on the cord.

Newborn Care
·       I would like to hold Baby skin-to-skin during the first hours to help regulate Baby’s body temperature.
·       Please evaluate and bathe Baby at my bedside.
·       If Baby must go to the nursery for evaluation or medical treatment, [Husband] will accompany Baby at all times.
·       Please do not give Baby any supplements without first informing us of the reason and seeking our consent.
·       Please delay eye medication for Baby until we are well past the initial bonding period.