WEEK 23 & 24-Coffee, Sleep & Free Birth
PART 19, TRYING FOR ANOTHER BLOG SERIES
Ok, confession… pregnancy is not as fun as I remembered it. I’m tired and just want to rest 90% of the time. 10% I feel ok, and I wish I could figure out the recipe for that. Recently I read that with each pregnancy the symptoms get a little worse, and I definitely relate to that. This pregnancy feels double what I felt with my first. More tired, more nauseous, more uncomfortable. I don’t feel particularly emotional, moody, or experiencing food cravings though. Those have never been a big part of my pregnancy journeys though. Shouldn’t I have more of the good parts of pregnancy too? For now, I’m enjoying all the kicks and waiting for the sentimental part of being pregnant to kick in.
I’m tired and achy. Mornings are particularly rough. I feel like I’m in a fog until about noon. And that whole morning time, I’m battling not having a second cup of coffee. The medical community permits up to 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy, which is approximately 16 oz (a grande sized coffee from Starbucks), or two shots of espresso. Also, the allowed amount from the medical field is based on their findings that more than 200mg has led to an increased chance of miscarriages and smaller babies at birth. For this reason, I try to steer clear from the max on a regular basis, but some days…. ooooh, some days are just harder than others. On those days I’ll have more than the allotted amount, but I’ll split it up into morning and afternoon doses, and while it feels justifiable in the moment, when I’m going to sleep at night it weighs on me.
Sleeping. I haven’t written about this yet, but my left side has been so much more impacted by pregnancy than my right. Meaning that I feel more pressure, more baby, more everything on the left side. So when I sleep, it pretty much has to be on my right side. I reclaimed my big huge extra-long pregnancy pillow from Julian a few weeks ago, as it allows me to pseudo side/belly sleep. Belly sleeping is typically my favorite position, which of course is impossible during this stage of pregnancy. Instead, I lay the pillow parallel to me lengthwise, wrap my top leg over it and pull the pillow as close to me as possible so that I’m laying as much of my front side on top of the pillow as possible. This is my best sleeping position for now, but I also have to make sure I’m not sleeping on my shoulder or I end up with shoulder issues in the morning. But when it comes to my left side I usually can’t get enough of my belly on the pillow to avoid putting pressure on the baby and waking him/her up and making him/her kick.
Change up: dId you know that a person in the U.S. can birth for free?! And without any help? People do this! I had no idea this existed before! It’s called “free birthing” and there’s an organization called The Free Birth Society that is dedicated to it. Very interesting. From what I understand so far, the premise for this is that less intervention is better, because birth is a completely natural process that we can trust. Now I’m not really considering this, but I did bring it up to my husband thinking that I might win him over with the “saving $6,200” price tag, but he didn’t even blink. Which led us into another conversation of his solution to my worries of birthing in a hospital: that we prepare for each hospital intervention scenario that may come up. Who has time for that though?! When engaging in these conversations with him, it’s very challenging because I have gathered so much more information on the topic of birthing than he has…over years. And I don’t know how to put that into a concise presentation of my point of view. So in the end, I cow-tow. And really there’s always the financial piece that pushes me over to the hospital side of the argument. I wish home births were covered by insurance as well.
Free birthing has got me thinking about this idea of trusting our body though. I think this is one of the most beneficial things a woman can do for her labor, as it helps to extinguish fear and thus open, release, and relax the body. Which got me thinking that I could start practicing that now with the little worries that come up during pregnancy: “what’s this feeling?” “What’s this ache?” or even worries about what my labor will look like in the hospital. I want to be aware of these and transfer them into trust of my body and the process. And maybe create a more intentional practice of instilling trust in my body as well. Not sure what that would look like, but some sort of meditative practice probably.
This is my last time being pregnant, and I want to cherish it and experience it as fully as I can.
Side Note: last week was Father's Day. I am so honored to have my husband as my kid's Father, and my partner. Some of my favorite of his parenting skills are that he is affectionate, fun and loving with them. Likewise, I am blessed to have a Father who I deeply love and respect and is involved in my children's lives.