i haven’t written much about this pregnancy. mostly because it’s the same boring stuff for most pregnancies. it’s only interesting if you are the one pregnant.
but i did want to touch on the comparisons of this pregnancy with Elijah and my first pregnancy with Caleb. for myself and also for anyone thinking about hiring a midwife. i know having your baby in the hospital is still the most popular route. i’m not here to change your birth plan. i’m just sharing the vast differences of my experiences. obviously, birthing at home is on the opposite end of the spectrum as a hospital birth but i didn’t realize how different and awesome the prenatal care would be.
i had a fairly easy pregnancy with caleb up until the third trimester. we had a lot of transitions during that time so, emotionally, things were out of whack. physically, i was large and uncomfortable. two things i knew were normal for the end of a pregnancy. what i didn’t know was the amount of swelling and varicosity issues i had were severe. at each appointment i was told to stay away from fried foods (which i did) and drink lots of water (which i struggled with, daily, but i tried to). my feet swelled everyday within an hour of waking up if i was walking around. by the end of the day, they felt and looked as if they would pop and were extremely sore to the touch.
i also struggled with sleep and restless leg syndrome. some days, i would need to sleep in until 11 or 12pm because i was up all night.
i gained 35lbs. not too bad, compared to some friends and most of America. but i was at an unhealthy weight before pregnancy so i really only needed to gain between 15-25lbs. by the end of the pregnancy all healthy eating (whatever that meant to me, i wasn’t that healthy!) went out the window. i know now this is what mostly contributed to all of my problems.
which is why i am so very thankful that caleb was able to be born without intervention and rather quickly (10 hours after water breaking and 8 hours after labor started) because i knew very little about how the Labor and Delivery ward at the hospital handled things. i dilated from 2cm to 10cm in three hours. THREE HOURS. that was some intense labor and i was told, not asked, numerous times that i should get an epidural and that people rarely make it through without wanting one. that didn’t help much. but we made it through and caleb was healthy.
fast forward three years to what i’m still praying is our second full term pregnancy. i am beyond thrilled to have made it this far carrying Elijah and with ease. i am currently 29wks 3 days and have started to feel Braxton Hicks contractions everyday. more so if i don’t drink enough water. i still have varicosity issues. my varicose veins have spread tremendously. this is normal for subsequent pregnancies. this began around week 14. i also am, um, uncomfortable in some other places of my body because of this. i won’t get into it but it was much more painful this time around than with caleb. also normal. with the help of my midwife we were able to come up with a “plan” that helps me have NO PAIN even though my legs look terrible with spots and busted blood vessels. this was a huge answer to prayer. i was gearing myself up for swelling issues and then this comes along! i wasn’t prepared. i would text my midwife with problems and at each appointment we’d troubleshoot and try something new. by 25 weeks i had a fairly good system of supplements and a sitting/standing routine. not too hard. if i had a “bad” day then i would need to wear my compression pantyhose. not fun. but after that appointment i switched to another supplement and upped my fluids. no pain. no pantyhose. and no sitting/standing schedule. it’s still important that i not walk or stand the entire day but i don’t have to time myself.
i also have NO SWELLING. there were two days where i did swell. i drank my fluids and tried alternating sitting and standing every 20 minutes. it would stay away for most of the day but i had to stay on top of it. i looked at the changes in my diet and medication/supplement routine and found that if i cut out gluten 100% (which is what i’m supposed to do for my thyroid anyway but i was slipping back into old habits) then i don’t swell. it was that easy. now i don’t have to watch my sitting and standing time. i may have to as Eli grows but it is a huge relief for now. i was basically on bed rest with caleb by 33 weeks because i literally could not walk around and do much. some days i’m shock over this. i’ll look down at my feet and admire the fact that i can still see my ankles. they’re pretty good lookin ankles.
i still struggle with a full night’s rest but not as bad. i don’t wake up as often and i don’t have insomnia. i find my workout routine and Caleb really help this. 🙂 oh, and no restless leg symptoms so far! praise the Lord! i tried doing some research and there’s not much that can confirm what causes it. i make sure i have my protein (80 grams) each day and this seems to help the sleep/RL correlation. i also see a chiropractor so i’m sure that helps tremendously, too.
i have gained 18-20lbs. i am right on track with gaining 30lbs for this pregnancy which is the goal. a midwife believes that most issues start with nutrition (or lack thereof) so i try to stick with our paleo/primal diet. i have added cheese, whole milk, and cottage cheese to get the extra protein i need. on this diet i know i’m getting the recommended protein each day as well as awesome nutrients from fruits and veggies for both Eli and me. therefore i can eat within these limits and gain and lose whatever i need. it’s so nice not to have to stress about gaining 20lbs over, etc. i was never once told about any of this by my doctor. i knew about the protein but only because i read so much. i was told that all the pain i was feeling was normal because i was pregnant. i’m so thankful to have a friend in my midwife who cares about how i’m feeling and works hard to relieve that pain.
so now the real countdown begins!