I’m 23 weeks pregnant today and all is well.
My weight is starting to increase (and stay there!) which is a great thing. I’m estimating my gain to be about 6-7 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, which is good considering I lost about five pounds between the 7th and 11th week.
I definitely have a baby belly, though some outfits hide it more than others.
I’m still able to wear some non-maternity clothes, depending on how they are cut. This definitely helps stretch my wardrobe!
My mom gave me some pants that have shrunk and no longer fit her. I’m able to wear them as-is or with a rubber band through the loop. They’ll last even longer if I use my “belly band” with them.
Shane and I visited Indiana over Labor Day weekend, and for the first time I was around people who 1) knew I was pregnant and 2) could see my belly. I got a lot of belly rubs, lol. Still no comments from strangers, but I’m starting to think it’s because people in Pittsburgh tend to keep to themselves as opposed to striking up a conversation with a person on the street. Who knows. I bet somebody will say something to me at some point.
Shane and I are going to take a Bradley childbirth preparation class. We’ll begin in early October and the class will conclude in early December. This class ought to be helpful to us both and I’m looking forward to meeting other mamas due around the same time as us.
We’re also reading some Bradley-related books: Husband-Coached Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. If you couldn’t tell by those titles and if you aren’t familiar with the Bradley method, then I’ll need to explain that we’re going to go for an unmedicated, intervention-free childbirth.
No drugs have been proven safe for an unborn baby. Studies have shown that the drugs in an epidural do quickly cross into the placenta and reach the baby’s bloodstream almost instantly (one study I read showed it happened within three minutes).
Pitocin, a common labor-inducing drug, causes much stronger contractions than the body would normally generate. This causes additional pain for the mother, stress on the baby, reduces the amount of oxygen the baby receives, and can cause the baby’s heartrate to drop which could lead to a c-section. The chemicals interfere with the body’s natural hormones. Long-term effects are not known. No thanks.
I don’t want to have anything in my system that could affect my baby, and I certainly don’t want anything to get in the way of us having a good nursing relationship early on.
I am not afraid of pain. I am more afraid of what doctors might do to me (give me unneeded drugs, chemically induce my labor, or cut me).
I’ve experienced considerable pain before in the form of lotsa dental work and two big ker-splats from track and cross-country. That type of pain is the body’s response to an injury and is not the same as the pain of childbirth (yes, I know I’m saying this now before going into labor).
With an injury, your body is responding and trying to heal itself. Something unnatural has happened to your body, and it wants to restore it to its healthy state.
With childbirth, you’re feeling pain that serves a purpose. Childbirth, unlike wisdom tooth extraction, is a natural thing. Women’s bodies are designed to give birth.
If you go into something expecting to experience fear or pain, then that’s what’s going to happen. If you approach it with confidence and understanding of how your body works, then I think it’ll go much better. Sure, there might be pain. But, I don’t think it will be as big of a deal with this mentality.
What really baffles me is I read on message boards from one mom to an expectant mother things like, “Oh, just wait. You’ll be begging for that epidural!” Like um, seriously? What’s wrong with you, lady? Comments such as those are best left unsaid. Women should be supported in their childbirth choices and not needlessly frightened.
My body has never even remotely done anything like giving birth, yet God has designed my body to know exactly what to do. My job is to be informed, keep calm and relaxed, and work with my body to safely get my son out on his birthday. Shane’s job is to take care of me by keeping me relaxed and helping me through the various stages of labor.
Yes, I know things happen that are beyond your control. Sometimes women experience horrible back labor. Sometimes the pain really is more than someone can handle.
I am not afraid.
I’ll have a good birth attendant and Shane at my side. I’ll have knowledge and mental preparedness. And most importantly, God will be with us. What could I possibly fear knowing that?
Here’s what’s going on according to BabyCenter.com
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With his sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that he’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see him squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze him when he hears them outside the womb.
See what your baby looks like this week.