At the time I'm writing this I'm 38.5 weeks pregnant. I have had a completely different pregnancy this time vs with my son. In all honesty with my son I felt embarrassed of my pregnancy. My husband and I had just gotten married and boom we were pregnant. So we got a ton of comments of wow that was fast, and I was not mentally prepared for pregnancy. I did no research into birth, labor or really how I wanted to experience pregnancy or postpartum.
This time I went in very much excited and prepared myself for labor and postpartum. I also was more invested in my actual pregnancy. It did fly by this time compared to my pregnancy with my son. We are waiting to find out the sex of the baby just like we did last time.
Ayurvedic Practices I did
- Meditation & Yoga asana daily from Jan. 1st to baby arriving
- Yoga Nidra 2x a week
- Baths at night most nights the majority of pregnancy
- Abhyanga since month 6 nightly (a gentle massage)
- Yoni Picchu & Perineal massage since weeks 32
- Eating dates & drinking red raspberry leaf tea daily starting at week 32 and increasing to 4-6 dates a day starting at week 36.
Lifted weights 3x a week most of pregnancy until week 36.
Week 37+ of pregnancy I focused on more yoga asana and baby relaxing pelvic floor vs lifting which for my body I constrict more than open.
Walking daily around week 38. This would have been earlier but it’s been so cold & icy here since mid-December not ideal for myself to walk around the St. Paul neighborhoods.
Compression socks since around 24 weeks pregnant. Game changer for my varicose veins and circulation in general.
Planning on birthing at a stand alone birth center that has been a completely different experience vs a hospital setting.
- Bringing a rice porridge to the birth center to eat during and after labor.
Overall Experience at Birth center vs hospital
This pregnancy I chose a birth center instead of a hospital setting. The process has been completely different and just what I've wanted. The birth center visits are longer vs at a hospital setting. You get to know all of the midwives as you never know who is on call during your labor. The birth center is a stand alone home so the birth room is very much a bedroom that feels very homey.
The one thing I really appreciate is they are all about asking for consent. They won't do any tests, any procedures without you giving permission. It feels like a breath of fresh air to not have to defend or feel bad you chose not to get something. For example I declined the genetic testing that the hospital wanted me to do based on my age. The birth center didn't have any issues with me declining it and they informed me they couldn't catch sickle cell anemia trait on the early genetic testing that the hospital said it could.
Birth feels a bit more go with the flow let everything unfold as it will vs clinical in nature. I think there is a time for both but I'm more drawn towards the earthy I don't have to defend all my choices. For example we aren't doing the eye goop after baby is born and they don't do hepatitis B vaccine at the birth center. Which I have declined with my oldest son after his initial shot after birth. We are doing the vitamin K shot after birth and I am doing a shot of pitocin after birth for hemorrhage purposes. I did go back and forth if I wanted to get the pitocin after birth but in the end I did need it after my first birth and it will have me have a peace of mind.
At the birth center you only stay for about 4-6 hours after birth before you're sent home. So that was another reason I wanted pitocin, as in my research hemorrhaging can happen about 4 hours later.
- Braxton hicks- much more intense than with my son. I don't remember having any but have had them quite a bit starting at month 7.
- Insomnia- I have had trouble sleeping most of this pregnancy. The last few weeks have by far been the worst.
- Hip pain- I mostly have hip pain at night in my sleep. I have had more intense left hip pain the last few weeks. That is also my tighter hip so it most likely is opening for birth.
- Ice outside- It has been extremely icy this winter season. Which means I haven't been able to go on daily walks since the start of December. It also has been extremely cold and I don't have the right gear for pregnancy to really get outside longer than hopping between the car to store.
- Low Iron- At the 28 week blood draw, I have low iron. Now I say that with a caveat most hospital settings wouldn't consider it low but at the birth center they like to see numbers higher. Which I appreciate. The numbers we look at in the west are sometimes scraping by the bottom of the barrel. So I started taking an iron supplement to help increase levels. Now iron supplements can take months before you notice an increase in your levels.
Birth Story will come in a few weeks
I will update you after the little one arrives on the birth story and lessons learned.