Thursday, May 29, 2014

29 Week Bump Date! Aches, Pains, A Rockin' Baby, Classes, and What's A Doula?

I have to say, this week has been one of the more challenging weeks of pregnancy. I'll share with you the good and the bad of Week 29! 

Aches and Pains:

I have been experiencing a lot of back pain and pain in my stomach muscles. My doctor said this is because this is my second pregnancy and my muscles are weakened from my first pregnancy. I was not in great physical shape when I became pregnant, so this does not completely surprise me. 

Over the past few days, the pain started to impact my daily activities. I wanted to cry every time I got out of bed, or out of a chair. I had an incredibly hard time getting dressed, walking and standing. I feel like there was a point this week when I crossed the threshold from "regular pregnancy" pain to "this shouldn't be happening yet" pain. 

I decided to go and see a chiropractor yesterday. I think my favorite part about seeing her was that she listened to me, which made me feel good. She didn't blow me off, or tell me to "suck it up", she didn't laugh at me or make me feel like a wimp. She gave me some empathy, which is exactly what I needed. Well, I needed empathy and a back adjustment. She aligned my back in a few places and actually saw me again this morning for follow up adjustments. This is my first time ever seeing a chiropractor and so far it has been a great experience. I am still sore, but not in pain like I was before I saw her. 

Rockin' and Rollin' Baby

I'm starting to feel really big movements from Miss Marlie! I can watch my stomach moving and feel her big twists and turns. I love it! I can feel her becoming more active everyday.  

Class Time

I finally signed my husband and I up for a natural childbirth class! I had been debating whether or not to take an actual class, or to just watch videos online. In the end I decided that I really wanted to experience this with my husband in a way that I don't think we would get from online videos. I like the idea of a small class setting, with other couples and an instructor we can see face to face. 

The class I decided on is a 7 week class that covers the following topics:
  • Mechanics of childbirth, natural labor preparations, first and second stage labor information, breastfeeding, postpartum care, and tips for labor partners
The instructor seems really nice and I am excited to meet her! The class was originally $300. She was able to give me a voucher for $50 off, and she is willing to do a payment plan for us. This made the class much for affordable. I am really exited for what we will learn!

What's a Doula?

Over the past few days I have suddenly had the urge to hire a doula. I never knew what one was or what exactly they did, until I began to research. They are like a support person for both you and your spouse and are with you before, during, and after labor. 

Here is an official definition from DONA International:

"The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily."

In my area (St. Louis, MO) the average Doula's services cost about $1,000. However, I have found one provider that has a service price listed of $400, and a few others that have service prices between $500-$600. I have found that most of the doulas in my area offer a package of 2 prenatal visits, unlimited phone calls, support throughout the entire labor and delivery, breastfeeding support, and 2 postpartum visits. This totally sounds worth it to me! 

No one in my family has done a natural birth or exclusively breastfed. I think it would be beneficial to have this person as a resource. If my husband and I can afford it, I would love to hire a doula! 

**I know that was a long post for week 29, thanks for following along on my journey! I would love to hear about anyone's experience with a doula or natural childbirth tips! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

27 Week Bump Date!

Woo hoo! I just finished my 27th week of pregnancy! Here is what has been going on during the past few weeks...

Pregnancy Symptoms:

  • Baby Movement: Holy kicks and punches! During the past few weeks I can really feel Marlie kicking, punching and dancing. I still love it :) She's kicking my laptop as I write this. 

  • Braxton Hicks Contractions: I never had these with my son, but I started feeling them during this pregnancy about 2 weeks ago. They mostly happen when I am walking around (baseball games, grocery stores, and at work). They feel like a stitch in my side and then my whole belly tightens up. They aren't really painful, just uncomfortable. My doctor told me if I have more than 5 in one hour to put my feet up and drink water. 

  • More Potty Breaks: I can definitely tell that Miss Marlie is squishing my bladder! I wake up about twice per night to go to the bathroom, if I'm lucky, it's just once. The other night at my son's baseball game I had to go to the bathroom about 4 times during his 2 hour game. 

  • Standing For Too Long Hurts! I have noticed lately that I can stand for about 45 minutes before my back and feet really hurt. I finally asked for an accommodation at work. I bought myself a $10 camping stool from Dick's Sporting Goods to take with me on work site assessments. I had to provide a doctor's note saying that I was allowed to sit for 10 minutes out of every hour. I was embarrassed to ask for an accommodation at work. I honestly felt like a "wimp" and felt ashamed that I was asking to sit, when I know that there are pregnant women who stand all day as cashiers, nurses and hundreds of other occupations. But then I counseled myself and I told myself that I don't need to compare myself to other women and just because others handle discomfort differently, doesn't make my discomfort not valid. 

Baby Planning

  • We are going to register for our baby shower today! We have been wanting to do this for weeks, but haven't had the time or energy. I am determined to get this started today!

  • I have been researching natural child birth and all of the benefits. I am trying to decide if my husband and I should pay to take a class, or if there is enough free information online to prepare us. I would love to hear suggestions! We are also looking for information on infant care. I am sure a lot has changed since 13 years ago when my son was born. I want to make sure I am up to date on the latest! 


  • I am officially done with school! I graduated with my Master's Degree 2 weeks ago! 

  • I am in full blown nesting mode. Every time I walk into a room, I think about a new paint color and decor. I wake up in the middle of the night and can't stop thinking about how to arrange the nursery furniture. This is happening! 

Thanks for following along on my pregnancy journey! I would love to hear any suggestions or advice! :)


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