31 Weeks--We're in Single Digits, People!

Nine measly weeks until Baby Ninja is here. NINE! AHHHHHHH!

This week's email says my baby's about to experience a growth spurt. I'm trying to figure out exactly how that's going to work because I already feel like I'm going to burst. I can tell that I'm carrying this baby differently than the first because I don't remember this much pressure on my lower abs before. Plus, there are times when I feel like the baby is just going to fall out--other women told me that was going to happen, but I never believed them--I'm a believer now! My midwife pointed out that since my muscles are stretched out from baby #1, I'd feel a lot more this time around, so that explains a lot of it. But I also think this baby is lower, and I think my belly is more pointed (more important things to note in case this one turns out to be a boy).

I've finally allowed myself to separate my biases and preconceived notions and just let my gut instinct talk to me. So when I quiet all the voices in my head, one thought prevails: this baby is a girl. One of my hubby's co-workers was surprised to hear I hadn't dreamt about the baby and figured out the gender. She said long before she found out the gender (she's only a couple of weeks behind me), she had dreams that it would be a boy. Well, I haven't had dreams, but I'm finally allowing myself to listen to my intuition. Before now, my two major hangups with trying to figure out the gender were #1: I know I want it to be a boy, so I couldn't separate wanting it to be a boy from thinking it is a boy. #2. I have a girl, so I only know girls. I really can't imagine anything but a girl right now. Confusing. I know! So that's why I wouldn't let myself try to guess the gender.

But the other day I was day dreaming about life with two kids, and I pictured myself with two girls. It just popped in my head. And I was really excited. I can foresee us being close, enjoying girly moments, and just "getting" each other. It felt right. My girls and I. Has a nice ring. I'll still be thrilled to have a boy, but I might start calling Baby Ninja a "she" from now on and actually acting on my instinct. We'll see.

On another pregnancy note: braxton hicks contractions have begun. Yeeouch! I didn't have these with my first pregnancy, but the first time I felt one this time around, I immediately flashed back to walking the halls of the hospital trying to weather the pain and get my cervix to dilate with my first baby. I know it's common to feel contractions this early, but anyone besides me have ones that were pretty painful? For those of you who haven't experienced them, the best way I can describe them is a creeping pain (like menstrual cramps) that continues to escalate until all of the muscles around your uterus are rock hard. They're not always that painful, but the muscles around my uterus are certainly getting a workout from tightening so often.

Survey time! How common is it around you to have an epidural and avoid a c-section? I know c-sections in general are on the rise, but a friend of mine pointed out that I was one of two friends she knew of who had an epidural and didn't end up in a c-section. I found that fascinating because here in OK (at least among my friends), it's really common for people to have an epidural and not end up in a c-section; but in MI, it's the opposite. Help me out with a mini-survey here. In the comments, let me know where you're from, if you had an epidural, and if you ended up in a c-section. Feel free to add what your friends have experienced, too, so I can get a better sense of your area. Thanks so much, dear readers. I really appreciate all the feedback and advice you've given me along the way.

And finally, confession time. I'm putting potty training on hold. As I burrow into the ground (should be in China by next week), I have to admit, this isn't going well. She's just not interested. So, I'm going to take the advice I've been resisting for so long--I'm going to take a break. I'm not sure if it will be a week, two weeks, or more; but I'm going to start using diapers again. After a week of absolutely no progress (in fact, now she smiles when she tells me she peed her pants and proudly points out the puddle she left behind), I've decided this is counterproductive. Sigh. I will not have one of those inspiring stories to tell the new moms in the near future. Instead, I will be one of those humans (as opposed to super-moms) who admits all sorts of failures along the long journey to potty training. I realize I'm being extremely dramatic, but giving up is so little a part of my life that this is really hard to admit--especially with it being so public since I'm posting it online. Ah well, life goes on. =)


Cayla said...

I had an epidural and then had a C-section. The C-section had nothing to do with the epidural, however. The cord was around the neck of the baby twice, which meant that he was literally tethered in. Nice, I know. So after pushing and pushing and absolutely no progress, we opted for the C-section.
Good choice, in hind sight.
A friend of mine who is an OB told me that she thinks all women should have C-sections. This is due to the ammount of stress on the perineal muscles and the later problems with incontinence, prolapse, uterine sagging, and so on.
And, I find it interesting that many female OB's opt to have C-sections themselves.

Mommy said...

Hey Joy - I had terrible braxton hicks with the twins - stop you in your tracks, lean back and take whatever breath will fit braxton hicks from 27 weeks on. Not as painful this time around, though I still had them. BUT, stomach and abs recovered much quicker, even after twins. I figured it my body was choosing to work off the baby weight before the babies came. And even with a c-section, I bounced back very quickly. Can't help you with c-section info. The docs decided I was actually physically incapable of natural birth, as in, closed up rather than dilating despite hard contractions starting as soon as the previous ended.

This Is Us said...

Congrats on making it to the single digits! The end (or beginning) is in sight...
I don't personally have any experience with an epidural and would try to avoid it if at all possible, but it seems like I know a lot of people that have had epidurals and avoided having a c section. I also know many people who ended up with both. I'm sure you know that any kind of medical intervention increases your chances of having a c section. I don't know the figures, but it would seem that there is a connection.
A note on potty training, it seems like it is full of ups and downs! S was doing really well on the potty before we went on vacation. This was a huge surprise to me since I wasn't pushing it and just waiting until she told me she was ready. Sadly, since we've returned, she wants nothing to do with it. Lots of moms have told me that they had their oldest potty trained and when the second came along, they wanted back in diapers. So, on the bright side, maybe you are saving yourself from that frustration later on. :)

3 Little Chicks said...

I had an epidural with Sophie and no c-section was ever even suggested. (Tulsa)

As far as "supermoms" who potty train their kids in two days...I assure you, that was all about the kid being ready and had little to do with mom. I kept trying to potty train Sophie when she was almost two but was unsuccessful. I completely shelved the idea for a few months. When she was two-and-a half, she was ready. Then, potty training was as easy as could be.


Steph said...

Seriously, are Andie and Cady sending each other messages to avoid potty training at all costs?!? Cady is at the point of smiling and pointing too! I have to admit, I have made a little bit of progress going number 1 but not nearly as much as I would like! AND she told me yesterday that she didn't care if she pooped in her pull up, she was busy playing so she didn't need a new one! I have been talking to my Ped. as well as a nurse at the WIC office and they have both told me to wait until the new baby is born since she will most likely regress at that time anyways but I just cant fathom having a 3 year old (on Sept 1st) that is not potty trained!

On to your survey, with Cady I was induced at 41 weeks exactly, I did not get an epidural until I was in labor for 12 hours and it was a lifesaver for me! I wasn't progressing at all but as soon as I got one I went from dilated to four all the way to ten in an hour. I ended up having her vaginally, which is what I wanted. I have noticed here in Three Rivers that C-Sections are becoming a trend because they are convenient for scheduling purposes. Its odd to me, but I guess to each is own.

Ashley said...

I had an epidural and no c-section. In my mind though, a C-section wasn't even an option. Everything up to the actual delivery was very "text book". Very easy pregnancy.

Good Luck

This Is Us said...

A friend recently recommended "A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. I haven't read it yet and I haven't yet read this excerpt she sent, but it's all about epidurals. The friend said she loved the book since it's research based. Maybe this link will be helpful to you...


~The Harrison Family~ said...

Just had to add to this post and say I had an epidural with both of my babies and did not have a c-section with either. It was wonderful :)

The key is to not get it the minute you walk into the hospital.

Holmessa said...

I had an epidural and a vaginal birth. I was well past 4 cm progressing quickly when they gave it to me. In fact they checked me right when they were finished setting up the epidural and I was 6cm. It was a nice break but they only left it on for about 12-15 minutes and then we were pushing and they wanted me to feel to push. I had a bad tear and the dr started sewing thinking I was still numb and I had to tell him I could feel it!