Belly mapping!

We’ve been learning about the importance of the fetal position for an easier birth and positions and exercises I can do to support our guy getting in the best position. The fun part of the process has been belly mapping to learn his position and being able to visualize he and his movements in my tummy, so I thought I’d share.

The best position for birth is head down, butt up, with back out opposite of mine; he can move into that position anytime, even a few minutes before birth. The position he is currently is a good position even if he never moved from it—with his head down, butt (“the bulge”) to the upper right, and legs to the upper left (see pic below).

When he was up high before last weekend, his legs didn’t have a lot on room to move, but I feel them on the left. Now that he’s moved down some since last weekend, he presses at least one foot pretty hard against my left side several times a day. I can feel the little foot bones with my hands. He must have more room to extend his legs now. It can feel quite concerning at times but is certainly part of the fun.

Below is a picture that resembles our guy’s position taken from the Web site. This Web site explains all about fetal positioning and belly mapping, if interested. The left picture below is easy to discern; the right is how belly mapping works–you draw out the types of movements you’re feeling and then map them to understand the baby’s position (on the left).

Instructions for mapping:

  • The mother draws where she feels a bulge (the butt) and the firm side of the womb (the back/spine)
  • With words or with pictures, the mother or doula marks each quadrant where she feels:
    • The biggest kicks, (legs)
    • Smallest kicks or wiggles, (hands)
    • The firm back, A big bulge (butt), usually up top, or on one side or the other
    • If you know, circle where the head is, and
    • If you remember where the heartbeat was last heard, draws a heart there.
  • Leave out any parts you are unsure of, and just draw what you are sure of.

Going away on a vacation

I have had a hard time moving quickly through the work that needs to be done around the house to make room for our new permanent resident, and a harder time feeling like I’d be able to take some time off with Aaron before the kid comes—not easy for a super-duper-busy-body like me! 

But almost the moment the kid came off my breathing hardware this past weekend (see previous post), I am moving a lot better and faster. I can see for the first time how I’m going to get everything done, and I WANT TO GET OUT OF TOWN! So, Aaron and I are off next week to spend some one-on-one time together.

Activities include: 

  • A small road trip
  • Stopping at our favorite truck stop for literally the best cinnamon roll on earth and maybe a Mr. Ed breakfast if we’re really hungry
  • Soaking/swimming in a bunch of natural lukewarm hot spring pools
  • Light hiking with our dog able to be legally off leash on private land
  • Seeing the summer home of a colony (estimated between 100,000 to 250,000) of Mexican free-tail bats (the northernmost and largest bachelor colony known in North America)
  • Eating our favorite whole foods
  • Enjoying amazing views and a very rustic cabin in the middle of nowhere

This is the place I’ve gone for years to get deep rest and rejuvenation. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to make it before the kid got here, and now that we are, I couldn’t be more happy—just in the nick of time too, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable going so far come a few weeks from now. And someday, I can’t wait to bring the kid too!

Interesting development this weekend – baby dropped!

I have been carrying very high and experiencing a ton of pressure and pain in my upper tummy. So much that almost two months ago, I had to stop core exercises like yoga and have had to spend a lot of time laying on my side resting my belly. I’d dread sitting up in bed and doing other simple things. I think oxygen was an issue too, because I’d get worn out so easily–more than we felt was normal, even for a pregnant gal.

Over the weekend, the baby dropped a few inches and although there are new sensations lower in my abdomen, such as added pressure on my bladder, I haven’t felt this overall good and agile in a while. It’s amazing. I can breathe, I can move, and feel I can pick up on and vary my exercise again.

What I think happened is that the fella simply ran out of room being that high. He has largely been in the same main position. When he’d move, I could feel him all the way across my belly—pretty high up on one side down a little to my other side.

I remember him moving around a lot Friday and Saturday nights, and by Sunday, I felt like a brand new human being when I woke up. I thought I had gotten the best sleep ever and didn’t have a clue until my neighbor saw me and said my stomach looked like it was sitting lower—mystery solved!

Now, I know the little man is still growing, so I assume he will fill up the new position he’s in, but in the meantime, I’m sure he and I are going to enjoy this new lease on life while we can! Little guy is pressing a foot against me as I write. Awe.

PS  Babies drop in the whom anywhere from around 30 wks to a few hours before birth, so this was totally healthy (and fortuitous timing for us.)

Baby room theme: woodlands

It was between a rockets-and-robots theme and forest animals, and forest animals won out! We’re going to save rockets and robots for when he’s older.

Here are some pics and links to items we’ll be decorating with. (I have to admit, that I am thinking about putting a couple robots in the background of the woodland scene—‘cause I can.)

Kid saves husband from wife’s wrath, and he’s not even born yet

Aaron doesn’t know, but I was mad at him tonight. He’s not here; he’s out playing trivia with a group of nerds. (Lucky I love nerds, or that might have not sounded like an endearing comment.)

Anyway, I was mad, because I had to ask him to do something I think he should have done without me asking. That happens sometimes. I think people should just be on top of stuff, and instead of being okay making requests, I get annoyed and make them wrong. Sometimes I know better and let it go, and sometimes, I cause trouble and do a little of what you call, nagging.

Well tonight, I was feeling annoyed—like why should I have to ask for a bike to be moved from the middle of the living room to the garage, how long would it have taken if I said nothing. Then, as I have been doing lately, I thought about being a mom, and I thought about having two boys around, and I saw that a lot more of my life is probably going to be asking boys to do things, especially when it comes to putting things away—and I envisioned my choices: I could be miserable feeling like I should not have to make requests, or I could just plan on making requests—perhaps all of the time—for a long time as long as I can see into the future.

I didn’t get resigned about it; I just chose that that’s probably going to be part of being a mom, as it is a wife, lol, and I’d rather just ask then be miserable and make others miserable too.

Win for husband.

Listen up kid…

…if you ever read this, your mom is listening to a Stanton Warriors station on Pandora that your dad created for her and just got done listening to a kick-butt Crystal Method song, Uberzone, Timo Mass, and now Paul Van Dyk, and expects you to have just as good taste in music if not better. Feel those vibrations, and don’t disappoint! Love you already. 🙂

Hello third trimester!

What a ride being pregnant has been. They aren’t kidding when they say each trimester is unique.

The second trimester was a breeze, to say the least. Emotions—although high—evened out. The cute baby bump arrived, and no more feeling exhausted and nauseous.

Awe, the glorious second trimester, without warning, with no sweet good-byes—is now gone.

And right on schedule—realized within days by checking the calendar to investigate what the hell hit me—welcome the third trimester.

The wild-chipmunk emotions I know so well from the beginning of second trimester are back (at least I don’t have to get to know them again; just have to adjust to them again), a sudden “large-ness” feeling has arrived (yay), and a tiredness has come upon me again—like wham!

Good news is, no nausea like the first trimester (so already, third is waaaay better than the first); the kid is growing rapidly, and I am starting to feel his true form, which is fun; and we’re well on our way to meet the little guy!

PS  The wild chipmunk is a single-car roller coaster at Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver that takes lots of tight turns and bunny hops, obscured upon approach, switching between high lateral g-forces and abrupt negative vertical g-forces—thanks Wikipedia—that was a perfect description for describing the emotions!

From OB to nurse-midwife

Aaron and I switched prenatal care providers this week. We were working with a traditional OB/GYN. Perfectly capable and nice, but she spent 15 minutes with us at a time and was short in describing only a few possible ways birth could go.

We didn’t feel right for a while, and it’s not because we were working with a doctor or have to have a natural birth. It was because she wouldn’t freely discuss options with us.

So, we searched and searched the OB pool for someone who would be our partner throughout the process—someone who would contribute their invaluable experience to our ability to learn and make choices. And although I’m sure there are some OBs out there who would have worked for us, given the variables—hospital, insurance, and just plain timing—we just didn’t find one.

In the back of my mind, I was always fascinated by the idea of Mountain Midwifery, Colorado’s only birth center. Not because I was out to have a natural birth, but because of how free they were in discussing all the possible options and outcomes around having a baby, and that’s why we switch to them.

Other logistical reason we feel really great about is that they allow you total freedom of movement during your labor, (the Children’s hospital in Aurora has similar options, but they are too far away). They have also created a community that Aaron and I both feel really comfortable with—where education, conversation, and mindfulness is present—and where we’re meeting others who were looking for the same thing.

Mountain Midwifery offers totally natural birth, to alternative medicines and herbs, to traditional medicine and techniques. And they are very specific about who they take—you have to be healthy with no issues that would categorize you as high risk. And if an issue comes up before birth, you can tap into their pool of traditional OBs who understand the birth center model, and therefore a model of thinking that works for us. And if something comes up during birth, it’s just a 3-mintue ride on a stretcher to Swedish on the same block, and your midwife goes with you, and again, you see one of their OBs who understand your mindset.

So, that’s our current path. More to come. We start our first baby classes end of month!

Fish Bowl Belly

Our little daredevil is approximately 1 foot long now. We were watching a comedy show a few nights ago, and I was laughing hysterically, and all of the sudden, I felt his full body squirm inside me. That was probably the weirdest feeling yet. I was laying there explaining it to Aaron. It felt like a squirmy fish or eel was moving all around and my belly was the fish bowl. Very strange and different than the feeling of kicking. The experiences continue.