{Mommy Monday} Barefoot, Pregnant and the Hospital

Yep, {Mommy Monday} on a Tuesday. I have an excuse… 
I’m Pregnant! 
(Soon I’ll need a new excuse for my sorry posting skills.)
But, I will try to have another, non-mommy related post up later today. 
This last week was a doozy. 
—I was tested for GBS and my test unfortunately came back positive.
—I ended up in Labor & Delivery with “Practice Labor,” 
most likely due to being on my feet too long and getting dehydrated.
— I learned a LOT about hospital procedure and along with my diagnosis of GBS was very disappointed at my options (more on this later).
—My feet have swollen so large that I can’t wear any of my shoes comfortably. 
I must be 37 weeks pregnant
This is what I’ve been doing a lot of lately. My feet are HUGE. My hands are HUGE. My face is HUGE. I’ve been retaining over 5 lbs of extra weight in water a day. 
(As in, I weigh myself at night at am 5 lbs heavier than in the morning when I am less swollen. Possibly not the most scientific way of coming to this conclusion.) My midwife says that all my vitals are fine so this is just natural pregnancy swelling that happens in some women. Lucky me. 
(Thankfully I live in Oregon where the weather has been under 80 degrees most days. 
For all the pregnant women dealing with the awful heat advisories… my thoughts are with you!)
I’ve gone from a shoe size of 9.5 to a flip flop size 11! I’m mainly walking around barefoot or in my new, ridiculously large, flip flops. 
Boy, does my husband tease me when I start doing something in the kitchen.
The plus side of these uncomfortable, huge feet? 
I feel a lot less guilty about treating myself to a pedicure!
Such pretty swollen peds!
The Hospital
*Wow… I keep writing and re-writing this post as it is very personal and very NOW for me. I think I will refrain from saying everything I want to say about the following topic of Natural Birth and Hospital Procedure… but, am more than willing to discuss them with anyone with any questions.* 
So, I’ve been very adamant that I want as a natural birth as I can possibly have. 
I was super happy when my very large HMO provided me with a Midwife that I really like and seemed to support my hopes for a natural delivery. We honestly can’t afford to do this without my HMO, so having these options available and ready to us seemed like a dream come true. 

(Please note: I have NOTHING against women taking medications to ease their pain during birth and feel that this is a very personal choice. My choice is to go without pain medication if at all possible but, I will listen to my body throughout this process and not rule anything out.) 
I really don’t want to be induced if at all possible….this is a natural thing, right?
It’ll happen (for most women) when the baby is ready, right? 
I don’t like the risks associated with narcotics or epidurals so I am choosing to do it without. But, if induced the pain is even worse…and, let me tell you that practice labor stuff was no joke.
I was in PAIN and it wasn’t even the real thing!
I recently found out a lot about hospital procedure and 
was very disappointed in the information that I received. 
I was going to go into a big rant about hospital procedure just now… 
but, I know why they have procedures in place. They have to protect themselves. 
I get it, although I may not agree with the procedures, they do keep some women safe. 
I am not a very high risk pregnancy (although the diagnosis of GBS does put me slightly higher risk than some). I think I am more aggravated by the lack of information about these options/procedures until this late in the game. Maybe it is because it is my first pregnancy and I didn’t know to ask…. but, wow I couldn’t imagine how scary all this might have been if I hadn’t done the research or gone to the birthing classes! 
So, we are perfecting our birth plan at the moment. I’ve been researching several sites with materials on birthing plans. I’ve been reading up on all the drug options and possible options for drug intervention. I’ve been researching my diagnosis and my options. I’m just researched out in all honesty. But, the knowledge is making me much more comfortable with the idea of giving birth. 
I know it may not go to plan. I know that things may happen and I may end up with an epidural and a C-section. I know that I may decide I can’t handle the pain and I ask for a drug. 
But, I feel that with the knowledge in hand and a well-thought-out birth plan I will be more in control of the experience of the birth of my child.
Both the hospital and my HMO provider have stated on their websites (and in person) that they highly support women who come in with birth plans that have been well thought-out. 
I’m hoping to find that it is the case in my upcoming birth!
A couple of sources on birth plans that I’ve found very useful: 
Nursingbirth.com: Top Ten Dos for Writing Your Birth Plan
AmericanPregnancy.Org: Creating Your Birth Plan

Also, both my hospital and insurance care provider have great guides for creating birth plans. I’d suggest checking your hospital or insurance provider’s sites and searching for birth plans.
Did you have a birth plan? What were you surprised about with hospital procedure? Did birth go according to your plan? 
I’d really love to hear about your birth experiences. I’m getting so close!

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Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
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    • Jen
    • July 26, 2011

    Maybe you should only request positive birthing stories so you don’t get a barrage of negativity. I arrived at the hospital about 7 cm dilated. Intended to go all natural but once I found out my son was positioned posterior I requested an epidural. I’m very happy I did. All in all… I have a beautiful baby boy. Congrats to you! Hold on… you’re almost there!

  1. Reply

    It’s so hard to deal with changes to expectations, etc during pregnancy. I totally understand where you’re coming from. And, just as an encouragement…I have know multiple women who were induced and gave birth without pain medication. Of course, in the end the most important part is a healthy Baby and a healthy you 🙂

  2. Reply

    Sorry to hear about your swelling! How uncomfortable. When I was swollen during my pregnancy my midwife suggested eating lots of cucumber and watermelon–they’re natural diuretics and might help bring it down some.

    As for a birth plan, like you, I wanted as natural a birth as possible. (And I also want a natural birth for baby #2.) I think having a midwife is a great start because they are unlikely to push for a c-section or try to rush your labor like some ob’s. Unfortunately I had to be induced. I was 11 days over my due date and the little guy was 9 lbs. Any bigger and I may have been forced to have a c-section, which I wanted to avoid if at all possible. It turned out to be the right decision as the little guy had passed meconium and also my placenta was starting to shut down in an area. I did end up with an epidural at just over 6cm because I was having horrible back labor and wasn’t able to find a way to manage the pain. I ultimately decided that I needed a somewhat functional brain and a little rest. (I hadn’t slept much in two days prior.) I don’t regret that decision either. I remember when my midwife told me I was at 10cm and could start pushing I began crying I was so happy to have made it to that stage and to know my little guy would be there soon. I pushed for an hour and 40 minutes, which I know sounds like forever but, honestly, I had absolutely no concept of time during the whole labor process. It didn’t feel that long to me. Then came my healthy, adorable little boy!

    Having a birth plan and being aware of your options is great. Obviously you have a wonderful and supportive hubby. (Zack held my leg for me the whole time I was pushing.) I think it’s also important to keep an open mind about things. Labor is different for every mommy and baby. At the end of the day the most important thing is having that beautiful, healthy baby in your arms.

    Good luck and hang it there! I’m sure you’ll do great.

    • kira
    • July 26, 2011

    Oh man, I really hope I don’t get that swollen. I’m in my sister’s wedding at 36 weeks and it’s bad enough to have all of that swelling, I don’t want it memorialized in my sister’s wedding photos!

    Hang in there, the end is in sight and it’s very close!

  3. Reply

    Can’t wait to hear your story. You will do wonderfully! Preparation, staying positive and confident were the most important things that helped keep me going.

  4. Reply

    With my 1st daughter, It was the middle of winter, so I had to wear my husbands tennis shoes to work for the last two weeks! I work in an office environment hehe.
    Anyway, I was not half as brave as you: here was my plan… I would wait till I could. not. stand. the. pain. anymore! Then ask for an epidural. Worked out great for me 🙂 I slept till it was time to push. I made it to about 5.5 cm when I got my epidural. With my second, I got it even earlier, wouldn’t have changed a thing. It helps “save” your energy for pushing… I pushed about 4 times with my oldest and about 5 times with my youngest. I describe it as similar to the dentist numbing you.. you are still fully aware of what is going on, you just don’t “feel” the pain. Wouldn’t have changed a thing!

  5. Reply

    I could post pages and pages on rants about hospital procedures, which would lead me to general rants about our healthcare system….so I won’t start. Neither of my births went according to hopes and plans, but I got two adorable, healthy children, so I can’t complain. Avoid induction if at all possible.
    Sending happy thoughts your way.

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