Category Archives: week 38

Thanksgiving (and my birthday present!) came early

Week 39 is here and guess what? It’s baby’s Day 1! B arrived at 6:15am, November 13 2011 on a glorious Sunday morning. Measuring 3.15 kg weight, 53 cm length and 36.5 cm head circumference (that’s 7 lbs, 21 inches, 14 inches for you Americans!), he’s a beautiful long limbed, big headed baby boy :).

It’s our last night (of peace) at the hospital and I’m taking this opportunity to update this blog while hubby rocks our just-breastfed-now-drowsy babe to sleep.

What a past 48 hours it’s been–

Saturday, Nov 12:
930a – Mucus plug passed. The bloody show is here! Spotting throughout the morning.
11a – At our regular CTG scan, doc says “labour is imminent”
3-6p – Contractions increase in frequency and intensity, going from 20 mins apart to regular 5-1-1 (5 mins apart, lasting just about 1 min for 1 hour)
630p – After holding out as long as we can at home, we check in at the hospital delivery suite
7p – CTG scan confirms cervix is fully effaced, 3cm dilated, regular contractions every 4 mins
730p – Doc is informed and advises no dinner for me, only one hot drink aka Milo (note to self: EAT before going in next time!) before running an enema
10p – After 7 hours of contractions, I wimped out and asked for an epidural (Though I do wonder now if I checked in the hospital too soon?)
1030p – Epidural hooked up. Why didn’t I take this sooner?! (I could do without the side effects though – shivering and throwing up)
1110p – Doc breaks my water bag and finds some meconium staining
1115p – Syntocinin (oxytocin) drip prescribed to help the contractions along just in case the baby is in distress due to the meconium

Sunday, Nov 13:
12-4a – I slooowly progress to the transition phase. Numbness sets in below my hips. Pheew. Meanwhile, hubby checks up on the pending Michigan-Illinois college football game
430a – 9 cm dilated. Almost there, nurses adjust the epidural and oxytocin levels so that I can feel more in preparation to start pushing
530a – Push! Push! Push! Phase 2 delivery starts
610a – Head is visible. Doc comes in with forceps to help get his head through.  Doc’s first comment “That’s a big head!”
615a – He’s here. Tears. Cries. Shaking. WOW.

Mom got stitched up. Babe got sent to the ICU for a few hours observation. Hubby chats with the pediatrician. Everything since has been one amazing ride.  Now the (REAL) journey begins!

Week 38: Showtime?!

I’ve been reading others’ birth stories lately and while each one is truly amazing, they’re also unique – with signs/stages of labor happening anywhere from several weeks to several hours, some felt not at all, some all at once! 

So far, my pre/early labor symptoms seem rather staggered. While this prolongs the anxiety (and excitement!), it’s also manageable and has bought precious time for me to get “ready.” Just this week, I had a day of severe bladder pressure, diarrhea and constipation; a burst of restless energy for ~48 hours after, sharp abdominal cramps last night, and then this morning — the much read-about bloody show!

Doc is back just in time evidently.  At our scheduled CTG scan today, she said labor is imminent but sent us out to observe any bleeding and of course, timing of contractions. After that, I snuck in a nice lunch with the hubby, cut my hair and removed my toenail polish (hah, yes important stuff!) before I couldn’t take it anymore and headed home. So far the pain recurs every 5-10 mins, lasting 30-45 sec …. but don’t feel anything like those Braxton Hicks contractions!  More like major period cramps? Argh.

Let’s see how today goes… and wish us and our pumpkin luck!

Week 38: What a pain

I’ve been napping more frequently to shake off a recent cold.  Unfortunately, my occasional overnight swollen finger sensations morphed into carpal tunnel (tingling and numbness in my arms – hands, wrists and fingers).  This is mainly due to reverse gravity where the daytime fluid accumulation in the legs gets redistributed when I lie down.  At least my ankles and feet are swelling less since I stopped work!

How to alleviate these edema symptoms, be it overnight hand pains or daytime leg pains? Overall goal: Let blood and fluids flow as freely as possible!

  • Drink water early and often, 8-10 glasses a day to detox your system and minimize swelling.   Avoid caffeine, tobacco and excess salt 
  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting. If you’re on your feet a lot, wear comfy shoes (no heels), take breaks and have a seat. If you’re on your butt a lot, take a 5 mins stroll every hour
  • Keep your legs elevated when sitting or lying down
  • Avoid tight elastic-top socks or stockings. Try support hose – full or knee-/thigh-highs that aren’t tight on top 
  • Take frequent hand-stretching breaks – shake your hands and wrists out, squeeze a soft ball
  • Type gently with wrists straight and elbows higher than your hands
  • Try not to sleep on your hands. Use a pillow to prop up your arms, hang your hand over the side of the bed and shake it at night
  • If swelling persists for more than a day with no improvement overnight, let the doc know, explore braces or acupuncture