28-29 Week Pregnancy Update

I titled my last blog “Third Trimester Pregnancy Update” and somehow managed to write absolutely nothing about my pregnancy.  So here goes.

Tonight I’m 29.5 weeks pregnant.  I was in Costa Rica when I entered the third trimester, and when I realized that I felt sort of like, “Woah, this is going by fast!  It’s really happening now!”

A few things I am loving about this pregnancy:

  • I actually really like that my bump is obviously a baby bump.  I remember feeling self conscious quite often during my pregnancy with Poppyseed because it took a while for me to “pop” and become noticeably pregnant.  With this kiddo, I popped a lot earlier.  Yay!
  • Middle moves all the time, and since it’s my second pregnancy I am a lot better at identifying exactly what I am feeling when I experience those kicks and wiggles.  I was playing with Middle’s foot all day yesterday, for example, and I was 100% certain that it was a foot!
  • When I was pregnant with Poppyseed I always had sort of a gut feeling that she would be a girl.  Obviously I was right. But with this baby…well, I don’t know!  No clue.  And it’s actually sort of fun that way.
  • Poppyseed has no idea that she is about to be graced with a sibling, but that doesn’t mean I find it any less adorable when she pets or kisses my belly.  She refers to it as “Baby Tummy” and often even points to her own tummy and reassures me that her “baby tummy” is there, too.

Some things I could do without during my pregnancy:

  • I finally went to see a vein specialist.  He did an ultrasound of my entire left leg and showed me that the reason for all of my swelling, bruising, and broken veins are indeed because of my pregnancy.  When I stand up, the weight of the uterus blocks the vein that runs up my left leg and to my heart.  This causes the pressure in my veins to build and build until the veins eventually burst.  Obviously that hurts, and it’s unsightly, and honestly the only “cure” is to simply give birth.  Even though I cannot do anything about it until Middle’s birthday, I was so happy that I made the appointment with that doctor because it put my mind at ease.  I had begun to worry that I had some type of clotting issue.  Thankfully this is just an example of common pregnancy woes.
  • I hate to admit this, because I really felt like I had a lot of energy during my last pregnancy, but I could almost always go for a nap!
  • My chest.  Let’s just say I can’t believe I used to envy busty women.  I mean really, could they get any bigger?  I’m a little frightened at what they will look like when my milk arrives.
  • I have a lot more contractions with this baby.  Going to Crossfit is almost a joke because even doing a 15 second plank will give me a contraction.  At this point I’m really just going to the gym for the social interaction and to let Poppyseed play with her friends for an hour.  I basically just do some stretching and a few squats while my friends do real workouts nearby.  If I’m feeling especially daring I will do some lunges.

One noteworthy update is that I had another prenatal appointment yesterday.  I was absolutely dying to see my midwife, Toni, because several weeks ago I had a very unsettling ultrasound.  You see, I schedule all of my ultrasounds at a local doctor’s office because they will take my insurance.  If I schedule them at Toni’s birth center, I have to pay cash.  So I went to the sonographer a few weeks ago to see if my low-lying placenta had moved.  It hadn’t.  Thankfully I was able to email back and forth with Toni a bit over the next few days, which did give me some peace, but truthfully I was just really ready to have my follow up appointment with her and discuss what I learned at my ultrasound.

So, my understanding is that the placenta can really attach anywhere in the uterus.  Top, bottom, right, left, it doesn’t really matter.  The only thing that you do NOT want to happen is for the placenta to attach on top of, or right next to, the cervix.  The cervix is obviously the baby’s exit route during labor.  If the placenta implants on top of that cervix, it’s a very big deal because the mother could go into labor and begin to bleed very quickly.  Regardless of whether you are seeing an OB/Gyn or a midwife, this diagnosis merits a cesarean section.  It is simply the only way to get the baby out while preserving the safety of both the mother and the child.

My placenta is NOT covering my cervix, thankfully.  I am guessing from what the sonographer said that I look more like Type 1 or 2 in the image below.

29 week update

My understanding is that the placenta needs to be 2cm away from the cervix in order to deliver normally.  Mine is just shy of that measurement, or at least it was at 27 weeks.  So for the past 3 weeks I’ve been a ball of nerves over this, but Toni absolutely eased my mind when she shared this information with me, which is a quote from one of her own medical training books…

“If the condition is diagnosed before 20 weeks, 90% resolve by term.  A total previa diagnosed during the second trimester will remain so in 26% of women.  Partial and marginal previas will remain so in 2.5% for an overall incidence of 0.3% to 0.7%.”

So, statistically speaking, my marginal previa has a really, really good chance of correcting itself.  It is silly of me to be all worked up about this when I know that I don’t have full blown previa.  I still have months left in my pregnancy.  All I can do is (1) pray, (2), schedule another ultrasound in a month, and (3) be aware that if I do experience any bleeding at all, it means I go straight to a hospital.  Overall I’m just really, really glad that my midwife has been practicing for 30+ years.  I absolutely trust her.  If she tells me I need to transfer my care back to my OB/Gyn, I’ll do so in a minute.  And I feel 100% confident that if I do need a cesarean, my OB will do a wonderful job.

I guess I feel pretty strongly that regardless of what happens, I’m in good hands.  If I get to give birth naturally, I’ll be in the hands of the best midwife around.  If I follow this issue to term and see that it’s just not a good idea to continue with Toni, I’ll feel safe in the hands of my OB.

Either way, this baby is coming out at the end of the summer, and I cannot wait!!

This brings me to my closing point. I read an article this evening that made me cry.  Maybe it’s the hormones, or maybe it’s something else, but I felt like the author of this article was speaking from my own heart and mind when she wrote this article.  If you have another 5 minutes and want to read this article called, “A healthy baby is not ALL that matters..” then click the link.  Let me know if you agree!  Here are a few paragraphs from the article that really speak to me.

Too often women who say they care about the details of their baby’s birth day are accused of wanting an ‘experience’, as if it is selfish to care about how their baby is born, how they feel or how they are treated. But, as the saying goes, ‘when a baby is born, so is a mother’. If a mother feels broken, dispirited, depressed or traumatised, how will this affect her baby? Is this healthy?

A good birth doesn’t have to be a hippy dippy ‘natural’ birth, all candles, knitting midwives and placenta smoothies. Many women who have hospital births that don’t go the way they planned and end in interventions such as caesareans, report feeling positive about what happened. This is because how a woman is spoken to and treated as she has her baby is much much more important than the actual mode of delivery.

Women need to feel that they have been consulted, respected and given the information they need to make free choices in the best interest of themselves and their child. This allows them to begin motherhood feeling strong, capable and mentally healthy – surely the best way to be when you are about to be given another human being’s fragile developing psychology to hold tenderly in the palm of your hand?

Birth matters. To be respected, to be treated with dignity, to be in control of what happens to our bodies. To really feel the power of bringing a new life into the world – no matter whether in hospital or at home in a birth pool – why is it so wrong for women to want this?

Well, that is all for tonight.

If you don’t mind, please pray for my sweet Middle, my sanity, and that my placenta packs its bags and scoots up a bit.  😉

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  1. Heather says:

    It sounds like you have an excellent midwife. At my 18 week ultrasound, I found out I had a low lying placenta too. My midwife explained that was probably why I hadn’t started feeling much movement yet, because the placenta was acting like a sort of punching bag, absorbing all the movements. It also explained why she had a hard time finding the fetal heartbeat with the Doppler each time; because it was being muffled by the placenta. This actually gave me a great amount of relief, since I’d been worrying why I wasn’t feeling movements much earlier like everyone says you do with second pregnancies! Now baby boy is big enough that I feel him all the time in there, which is quite reassuring. My midwife also said the placenta should migrate on its own, that it’s pretty common…but now you have me worried! Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s nice following a couple weeks behind someone that I can relate to in so many ways.

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