Doctorate Housewife

What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…

Third trimester and birth story

Hi there blogosphere. As you’ve probably guessed, my third trimester is long since over. Our little man was born October 15th. Here he is. We had a boy and named him John…

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The third trimester was good for me. I kept exercising and felt the most normal of my whole pregnancy. Sure the last couple weeks I felt large and uncomfortable, but generally I felt good minus some trouble sleeping. All the advice says to get as much sleep as possible before the baby comes, but it’s pretty hard towards the end when you’re as big as a house and only allowed to sleep on your left side…

Still, the exercising did me good. I ran up until he was born. I wasn’t breaking any speed or distance records, but it kept the blood circulating and helped me keep my sanity. I even got to do a couple races with friends.

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In the third trimester, I also added a weekly prenatal yoga class. Studies show it reduces the length and difficulty of labour. I don’t know how much exactly, but if nothing else it gave me ideas of positions to try during labour. And it made my back and hips feel better those last few weeks.

In addition to that, I made a real effort to try and make sure baby ended up in the right position for birth. An OA delivery is supposed to be the easiest for both mom and baby. This is when the baby is head down with his back to your stomach. The theory is that if you sit with your hips tilted forward, gravity will help the heaviest part of the baby – his back, turn in the direction you want. Walking and crawling on all 4s is also supposed to help. So for the last trimester I never sat back and relaxed in a chair. I avoided riding in cars. I did a lot of walking. And yet a month before he was born a scan revealed that he was head down but still a quarter turn away from facing the ideal position. Talk about frustrating! I redoubled my efforts, wanting to avoid back labour or other possible complications. I was reassured to know that something like over 90% of OP babies turn before birth or during labour. John was one of those that turned during labour. Unfortunately that meant I had back labour. But by the time I needed to push he was in a good position, ready to “shoot out”, as hubby likes to say.

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Practising my active sitting

Speaking of which, it’s time for the birth story. Scroll down now if this kinda thing leaves you queasy…

From the beginning I wanted a natural birth. We choose our hospital and doctor with that in mind. Belgium has a pretty simple rule at most hospitals (or at least the ones we looked at). You have 2 options as concerns pain relief.
1. You get an epidural. You are then confined to a bed with a catheter till an hour or so after the baby is born.
2. You take nothing and can move around and do what you like.
You can start without and change your mind, but when you change your mind there might not be time to give you an epidural and you’d be stuck without. For me, I wanted the freedom to move. Plus I’d read the statistics. Getting an epidural increases the chance of further interventions and increases labour length. I decided to try without. I wanted to let gravity help me for as long as possible and I’m horrible with needles.

Anyway, 9 days before his due date I finally finished packing our hospital bag. I had caught a cold a few days before and as I went to bed I could feel a migraine coming on. I thought to myself “the last thing I need now is to go into labour “. Well… A few hours later as the migraine subsided and I was finally drifting off to sleep I had a couple of minor cramps. I thought nothing of it, but then I felt myself leaking. My water had started to break! At first it was just a bit and I wanted to try and get some sleep. I let hubby know what I thought was happening, took a shower, and attempted to sleep. Hubby wrote emails to everyone we were supposed to meet that week warning that it might not happen 😉 Sleep didn’t come for me. The contractions got pretty regular and eventually we decided to head to the hospital just before 4am.
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It was the quickest admission process ever. The guy manning the ER reception desk pointed us towards the maternity wing. Someone met us there. She checked the amniotic fluid, hooked me up to a monitor to see baby’s heart rate and my contraction strength, and pronounced me officially 3cm dilated and in labour. We moved to the natural birthing room. Then I wandered the quiet halls and ate applesauce between contractions. They checked me again around 8, by which time things were heating up so I hopped in the giant jacuzzi like whirlpool labour bath. The warm water helped with the back labour. It also helped me relax between contractions. With every contraction, hubby applied counter pressure to my back like we learnt in our prenatal class. It was a huge help. About an hour later, they checked me again and asked if I wanted to move to the birthing bath. By the time it was full of water and I’d moved over, I was fully dilated and it was time to push. 20-30 minutes later John was born and our new life as a family of 3 began.

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First family photo


I can’t believe that was almost 3 months ago! Or for that matter, that we’re now in 2015. Here’s wishing everyone a happy new year full of adventure and new challenges 🙂

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2015 by in Baby and tagged , , .

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