It’s hard to believe that as of this weekend, I am officially in the 3rd trimester of this pregnancy. Sometimes it seems as if it has gone so fast, and other times it seems like it’s dragged. It has especially seemed to be going slower in the last few weeks, and I can only imagine how long 3rd trimester is going to feel. Between the uncomfortable factor of being hugely pregnant in the summer heat and the anticipation of meeting Audrey, I think these next 3 months are going to feel never-ending.
I have been feeling great lately which seems to be the trend of this pregnancy. Not to jinx it, but I feel like it’s been a breeze so far, especially compared to other people’s pregnancy horror stories. I’ve been walking 4+ miles a day in hopes of making labor easier/staying healthy/getting the extra weight off easier after Audrey is born. Despite my growing distaste for the ever-increasing number on the scale (which I know should not be a huge focus since I’m exercising and eating pretty healthily), walking every day makes me feel better about myself. This past week was the week that Audrey was able to open her eyes which were previously fused shut; now she can apparently react to a sudden increase in light. Also, at this point Brian might be able to hear her heartbeat if he puts his ear to my stomach!
I’ve been doing a lot of research into the modern birthing process. After a lot of reading, I’ve decided (with Brian’s support of course), that I really want to try for a natural, drug-free birth. I have absolutely no misconceptions that this will be easy. I also realize that, due to medical reasons or complications during labor, it may not be possible. Obviously if it comes between a natural birth and Audrey’s health, we’ll choose Audrey’s health. However, it seems like it is the best option for Audrey and for me. We’ve decided that we don’t want to be induced and we want Audrey to come when she’s ready. Everything I’ve read indicates that inductions tend to make labor longer and contractions more intense; it also can increase the chance of a c-section, which we also don’t want. I want to try to avoid an epidural because that can slow down labor which can lead to induction (which can lead to c-section, as stated before.) I also don’t want to be “out of it” and unable to fully enjoy the moment with Brian and Audrey when she is born and I want to be able to hold her right away, especially because research has also shown that immediate skin-on-skin contact can help facilitate easier nursing.
I realize this all probably sounds pretty idealistic, but I also think it’s important to know what you want and to be informed about the process. To help us, Brian and I are considering hiring a doula, which is Greek for “female servant.” A doula is someone who assists during birth and acts as an advocate for you to the doctors and nurses to make sure that nothing happens that we don’t want to happen. Her job is to keep us informed as to the labor process and help keep us both comfortable. Studies have shown that the rate of natural birth greatly increases with the use of a doula; epidural use is also lower and labor is shorter. The modern rate of c-sections sort of makes me nervous, and I want to make sure that we have someone who will advocate for us if the doctor starts to pressure us to have a c-section that might not actually be necessary. I think a big part of this decision for us is the fact that our OB (whom we love love love) is leaving us in August so we’ll have a brand new doctor for Audrey’s last 2 months and birth.
Whew! This entry is long enough…below is a bump picture from 25 weeks.