37 weeks! A Pregnancy Update and Birth Plan
I'm finally getting around to a pregnancy update. Any longer and it will be a birth announcement lol.
I'm 37 weeks today :) I have spent the past few days getting ready as I got a burst of energy which can only mean baby is not far off now. I packed my suitcase as much as I could today. I laundered all the baby clothing and even lined the drawers to put the clothing into with sweet pink paper with love hearts on it.
I ordered a baby car seat a few days ago (our 16 year old one has finally gotten too worn) which will take 3-10 days to arrive so they say. Three days would have been nice, but I think it will be coming from the east coast (of Australia) and so will take 7 days to arrive. Ten will be pushing it... though... I am trying to hold out till past the 23rd of November and that is just over those10 days. We have our annual visit from the home-school moderator on the 21st/22nd. And on the evening of the 22nd Dh's work are taking out all those on Dh's shift and their partners for dinner due to their excellent performance recently. This has never happened before and probably isn't going to happen again any time soon. Given that, and that Dh and I haven't been out to dinner together alone in 16 years, we are keen to go, but will we make it?? We do have a baby sitter organised...
I will be 38 weeks on the 20th, that's in the labor zone! I found a slip of paper while cleaning up yesterday. It had the arrival in weeks of each of the children except one. Dd1 and Ds2 were born at exactly 40 weeks. Dd3 was born at 39 weeks and Ds4 at 39 +1. Dd5 at 38 weeks. Ds6 is the one not listed but I'm pretty sure he was 38 weeks or a touch over. Ds7 was born at 41 weeks but I think the trend was broken here because of our moving house when I was 36 weeks pregnant! The short of it... I think baby 8 will come around 38 weeks, in a weeks time! If baby is listening... the 24th looks good, the feast of St. John of the Cross ;)
My birth plans? I wasn't able to get into the Family Birthing Centre this time. Last time I wasn't eligible either, 6 previous births is their limit, but they were trialling an arrangement where the midwives at the FBC looked after you for your ante natal care and then took you up to the adjoining hospital for the birth. They no longer offer this because women started using the FBC as a way to get into the hospital which only takes women in their local catchment area. They would book into the FBC and then ask to be taken up to the hospital at the last moment. The hospital decided to prevent this abuse by not allowing any further transfers except in emergencies.
Ultimately I couldn't get in, not because of my own history which makes me low risk, but because of the statistics which place me in a high risk category. (These statistics are currently under review but not soon enough for this baby). I was sad because I would have liked to have this baby in the same place as all but one of the others. But also because I wanted that care that the FBC midwives give. It is a different level of care than that which the hospital midwives can give.
So I had to book into our local hospital. It is not quite 10 minutes away. It's the closest we have ever lived to a hospital. I have had a total of four appointments and likely won't make my next one which is at 39 and a bit weeks. I have seen the one midwife twice and am hoping I might get her for the birth as we seem to get along well. But it is probably not likely. What a difference there is going back to hospital care after the FBC. At the FBC you are on a team of about 5 midwives. You are in a small waiting room with maybe two or three others and are seen quite quickly. It is a great atmosphere, you feel well taken care of.
At the hospital on the other hand you wait in large waiting room with twenty or so other women. You see who you see. And they are busy so while they do all that's needed for you and your babies care they need to move along quickly. It is a very functionary type of care.
The challenge of this birth will be to to use my previous experience to hold fast, where it is sensible, to my birth plans. Depending on who you get they will often try to guide you along the lines of 'what is usually done' by other ladies in a hospital setting. I have discussed my birth plan with the midwife I have seen twice, for my last two visits. I will have to have a bung, a needle, put in my arm which a drip can be attached to either in an emergency or after the birth when they will give me something to prevent any bleeding. I knew that already. They don't have birthing stools which is a shame. Pretty sure they said no baths either, though my plan is to use the shower if I have the time.
I think I know when to go now, which may sound funny to some, but it can be tricky for me as indicators such as 'a show' I don't often get until the last hour. My waters have yet to break any less than the second stage of labour which has never been longer than 25 minutes (for Dd1) and can be as short as 4 minutes (Ds2) before the birth. For the last few babies my contractions can be irregular and almost like they want to stop, making you wonder if you are in labour or not. What seems to be consistent is that painful contractions happen for at least one hour before birth. I'm planning to wait until this to head to hospital which will hopefully will be in time for them to get the bung (horrid thing!) in and to find our bearings a bit and then give birth. You can always hope lol.
My Birth Plan
- No 'pain relief' during labour. I will use a birthing ball, move around, use a shower in late labour.
- No 'checks' if in definite going to have baby soon type labour, otherwise one check to see where we are at and to see what position baby is in. (Baby is currently head down and anterior)
- Checking of baby's heart beat while upright.
- No 'coached' pushing.
- To be allowed to try to birth baby by myself. (The midwife I spoke to seemed to think this would be okay.)
- To birth baby upright.
- To hold baby immediately after birth (the standard routine in Australian hospitals)
- Delayed cord clamping.
- For Dh to cut the cord.
- To be able to deliver the placenta myself without cord traction and a pitocin/oxytocin shot.
How am I feeling right now? A mix of things. Excited. We all can't wait to see this little one. Nervous. Remembering the unavoidable big job ahead. I asked Dh last night if he didn't want to do this instead lol. I always get pre labour nerves, but they disappear when labour begins.
Trying to enjoy the last moments with my baby, Ds7, before he becomes a big boy.
If anyone is able to spare some prayers for a safe delivery for baby and I, I would be most thankful!