I always get this point in my pregnancy, when I am up at 3:30 in the morning snacking on string cheese and crackers. Well, usually it is grapes too, but Oliver ate all of ours. I am wide awake and thinking of projects I want done around the house, which is also typical of this point of my pregnancies, so let me use this time to share some pregnancy information -just because. If you are bothered by the word placenta, just go ahead and click out of here.
At my beginning of my pregnancy, I found out that there is a new birthing center near us. I am not anti-epidural or anything (considering I have had one with every birth), but the idea of giving birth without IVs and monitors attached the whole time, like they do at this place, is very appealing. Most appealing is that, if everyone goes okay, they let you go home with your baby after four hours. I know there are some women who treasure their time at the hospital, but I am not one of them. The idea of going home and sleeping in my own bed that very night seems like utter and complete bliss. Plus, if I am ever going to "go natural" I think it is going to have to be at a place where epidurals aren't even an option and I am supported by someone who won't even mention the word.
Anyway, this place has very reasonable prices ($4000 for all visits and the birth AT MOST - this is if your insurance won't cover anything), but they don't do ultrasounds there, so I figured I would stick with my current nurse midwife (who only delivers in a hospital) and then just switch over to them after my first ultrasound. Well, at my ultrasound, I was told that my placenta had a succenturiate lobe, which means my placenta was growing in two pieces, with membranes and vessels attaching them. The main placenta was anterior with the lobe running down close to the cervix and then over to the other side of the baby. Or something like that. So what did that mean? If it didn't move, I would need to have a c-section when it came time for the birth, and even if I didn't need a c-section, they would have to make sure the whole placenta came out intact so I wouldn't hemorrhage or anything. Am I saying placenta too much? Are you still there?
So my midwife set up a second ultrasound for me at 28 weeks (and I put off going the birth center because why go if I am just going end up needing a c-section?), which then got cancelled because of snow, so I ended up having it at 29 weeks. What they find? Absolutely nothing. Not only is my placenta far away from my cervix, it is all in one piece. No succenturiate lobe. Did it magically grow back together? Um no. The technician told me that if you happen to have a Braxton Hicks contraction while you are getting an ultrasound, it can make it look like you have a succenturiate lobe. Hmmm. By the way, she turned on the 3D during both ultrasounds and could only get a nice blobby view of everything in my uterus expect the baby, so even though I got two ultrasounds, I don't have any cool pictures of my little girl. Also, the techician never said anything about the sex at the second ultrasound. I know that isn't what she was checking, but I wish that I would have asked her to double check, and I keep hearing stories since then about technicians who were wrong the first time. All I have to comfort me is that I called the baby a girl and she didn't correct me. Folks, that would be really bad if this baby was a boy. Not because I wouldn't love a boy, but I am emotionally and mentally prepared for a girl - not to mention the girl clothes I have been buying.
So now I have no worries about giving birth at the birthing center. We went and took a tour a couple of days after that ultrasound and talked to one of the midwives there. I love it. We turned our insurance information in to one of their billing people, who was supposed to find out how much it would cost us. This place is considered "out of network" and we would need to pay a higher deduction and percentage of the cost than normal because of that. Since we don't have a birthing center "in network" they were going try to get an "out of network" exception for us, which I guess they have successfully done with several patients. Unfortunately they came back and told us that our policy doesn't allow them to request the exception - we needed to. Chad called in yesterday to do that, and now we are waiting to find out if we will get it. Either way, we will find out what our out-of-pocket expense would be, and either way it could very well be less expensive than using the hospital.
Is it really all about the money? Not really - but I don't care enough about "going natural" to do it if it is going to cost more than giving birth at the hospital. It looks like it will be less expensive at the birthing center, and let's face it - if it is, I am going to demand a really big push present from Chad :o) So, long story, but I am 32 weeks today and I don't know where I am giving birth!
My placenta is still anterior, which I guess sometimes makes it harder for the mom to feel the baby kick, but for me it just makes it harder to feel from the outside. Chad just felt her move a couple of weeks ago, but I feel her beating my insides relentlessly every night at around 8:30. At my last ultrasound she had her head and feet on my right side with her behind on my left, and I am just as uncomfortable as that sounds.
I have been having soooo many more Braxton Hicks contractions this pregnancy than the others, and sometimes they border on being painful. It is strange and keeps giving me the feeling that this baby is going to come early (which freaks me out, seeing what my sister went through when her daughter was born premature), but I know that I will regret admitting that feeling when I am at 42 weeks and still haven't given birth. I won't even allow myself to even fantasize about a March baby, even though I am due on April 2. Colin keeps telling me that I am going to have the baby on what was his due date - April 14th. That way he would have been born on this baby's due date and she would be born on his. He thinks that would be pretty funny, but yeah...I am missing the humor there.
Like I have said before, I am really huge. I'm not just saying that either - I really am. The main reason I mind this is because everyone thinks I am much further along than I really am, and that makes this pregnancy feel like it is lasting an eternity. When I stand up after sitting down for a long time, my back hurts and I waddle for about ten minutes. I have been trying really hard the last couple of weeks to stay active and build up whatever muscles I need to support my growing girth. I painted and re-did the toy room last week all by myself, and I have still been using the elliptical (for short amounts of time) and playing Just Dance 2 on the Wii. It isn't much, but I am trying and I can tell it helps. Since getting heartburn over the holidays and Chad's birthday weekend, I have also been trying to eat better, and I haven't had to take Tums since then. It is so much more motivating to eat right if it makes you feel so much better.
What else? My skin is so dry and itchy that I have used up two bottles of lotion this month. I have been waking up with night sweats. I am grumpy in the evenings and I am sure Chad is tired of hearing my unintentional grunts and moans and groans.
Two months left, and I am ready to never be pregnant again (who knows!) but I am also happy to have the little one in there for awhile yet, safe and healthy.
So there you have it - all the information you never needed to know :o)
Oh, and if placentas gross you out, you aren't going to want to see this. Don't worry - I will never be that "crunchy."
And a nice "little" picture, taken on Thursday, to prove my earlier point.