My 5 year old son took this picture, thus the poor camera angle which makes me look like a whale! I'm really not that big, at least not as big as I have been in previous pregnancies! I am now 35 weeks and 2 days... less than 5 weeks until my estimated due date! The countdown has begun, and it is time to get serious! Over Christmas weekend, I had the lovely (insert sarcasm here) pleasure of having a stomach virus and began to have a whole lot of braxton hicks contractions. I tried to stay as hydrated as possible, but I experienced contractions for a solid 3 days. I went to see my Doctor last Wednesday, and he said that was perfectly normal. During that same visit, I shared my birth plan with him. He was pretty much on board with everything on the plan and was impressed that I kept it all on one page! I don't want to come across as too demanding, but I do feel that what I put on my plan was very important to me. If you are curious to know what I put on my birth plan, I'll put it at the bottom of this post.
Today, I went to my very first chiropractor visit! As I have mentioned in previous posts, some Chiropractors are Webster-certified, which is a special technique used for pregnant women. By going to these Chiropractor visits, I hope to ensure that my baby girl is properly positioned for birth (head down, not breech or transverse!) I am also hoping it will help with this unbelievable lower back and belly pain I have been having (especially at night while I am sleeping) and help with the actual labor process. If I am going to do this natural, I need all the help I can get! I really liked the Chiropractor I chose (after asking around for many recommendations) and am planning to go again this Saturday, and hopefully bi-weekly until I give birth. Honestly, I feel better today than I have in months! My body is not in as much pain as normal... here's hoping I have the best last month of pregnancy ever! I have always said that I absolutely love being pregnant, until I make it to the last month. The last month, I could do without. It is uncomfortable and painful during the last month.
This coming Saturday, Steve and I will also meet with our doula one last time before "birth day." She will go over some relaxing techniques with us and answer any more questions we might have. This is becoming more and more real! Within the next 4-6 weeks or so, we will have a new addition to our family! I am just trying to wrap my brain around this whole VBAC thing and not allow fear to enter into my mind. I have been gathering Scripture and quotes to think on, to remind myself, that I can do this, that God will empower me to do this!
My favorite quote is by Eleanor Roosevelt: "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
And my two favorite Bible verses: "Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
"Shall I bring you to the point of birth and not give delivery?" says the Lord. "Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?" says your God. Isaiah 66:9
I know my God will be with me every step of the way. I also know that if I am not successful in this VBAC, it will be for a very good reason and not because it was more convenient for my Doctor. For that, I am thankful.
Here is my birth plan:
Westdyk Birth Plan
Mother: Caryn Westdyk
Father: Steven Westdyk
Doula: Katie Perez
I desire a natural, drug free birth as long as I am able, with as little intervention as possible
Please do not offer me pain medications or an epidural, I will ask for them if I need them
I would like to have the following people present with me at all times during labor and delivery (and during c-section if needed): Steven Westdyk (husband) and Katie Perez (doula)
If birthing equipment is available, I would like to use: Birthing bed, birthing ball, birthing stool, squatting bar
I would like to have no restrictions on food or fluids during my labor
I prefer to have a heparin or saline lock
If possible, I would like to have a nurse who has attended a natural birth
I would like to be able to walk around and move as I wish while in labor
I have prepared for this birth with Bradley techniques
I prefer external, intermittent monitoring
Second Stage Laboring:
As long as the baby and I are healthy, I prefer to have no limits on pushing
I prefer to have no episiotomy and risk tearing (unless I’m having a medical emergency)
To help prevent tearing, please apply: hot compresses, oil, perineal massage
I prefer to have the lights dimmed and doors closed for privacy during labor
As long as my baby is healthy, I would like my baby placed on my abdomen immediately
Please delay cord clamping until it stops pulsing, or for 5 minutes (whichever comes first)
I would like to delay the administration of eye drops and Vitamin K up to 2 hours after birth unless medically necessary
No Hep. B Vaccine please
My baby is to be exclusively breastfed, please do not offer formula without my consent
If it is medically necessary to have a cesarean, I would like to be conscious
If my baby is healthy, I would like to hold her and nurse her as soon as possible