I experienced no nausea or other severe pregnancy symptoms. The only thing I experienced throughout the first trimester was fatigue. Lots of it. But I slept it off most of the time and felt great enough to teach my fitness classes, work my coaching coaching career, and marketing career without much of a hiccup.
Choosing a provider
As a self proclaimed pregnancy and birth nerd, I had watched many documentaries, read tons of books and strongly felt I wanted a really great TEAM for my pregnancy and my labor. Insurance is really confusing in New York State, and when I did my first set of research, I felt it was impossible for me to find the care that I wanted. It seemed like I had to continue going to the practice of my OB/GYN even though I really wanted a midwife and a birth center setting. I was at my doctor's practice until week 20. At that point, I learned:
- Pregnancy was not high risk
- Baby boy was healthy
- Anatomy scan showed no signs of major concern
After that appointment, I told my husband that I didn't want to see a doctor anymore. I didn't feel like it was the right place for me. I didn't have the support and care I wanted and I really just wanted to have candid conversations, one on one time with the person delivering my baby and overall LOVE. I am sure there are many amazing doctors that can provide all that and more. For me, personally, I felt it was hard to find that in a large practice where you see a different doctor every week. I couldn't CONNECT how I wanted to.
One day on Facebook, I shared that I was considering a prenatal yoga class. That post led a friend of mine to message me. Not only about the yoga but also about a place called "Full Circle Women's Health." She thought that there I would get the care I so badly wanted and I would get the delivery I wanted. She recommended I speak with her friend who delivered with the midwives at Full Circle and after speaking with her, I just knew it was EXACTLY where I needed to be. She told me about the time she spent at each appointment with her midwife, the patience they had, the knowledge and the support she was given at the hospital birthing center at Phelps Memorial Hospital where the midwives deliver. Knowing that I could get my midwife and my husband could feel at ease that we would be at a hospital based birthing center, just confirmed EVERYTHING I WANTED. I spoke to a midwife and began the process of transferring my paperwork.
Our first appointment was over an hour long. We talked candidly and lovingly about how my pregnancy was going and subsequent appointments were just as great. I felt loved and in control of the next half of my pregnancy and I can't tell you enough how important it is for you to go with your GUT instinct. It will make all the difference in the world for you and your family. Although everything in your birth plan may change, the initial team you set up is so important on the actual day of your labor. (more on this later)
When things got "slightly complicated"
That's when I learned that my belly was "measuring small." This is when your doctor or midwife use a tape measure to predict growth. Its called "fundal height." Its the distance between the pubic bone and the top of the uterus. This measurement usually coincides with the number of weeks you are. So 16 weeks pregnant, fundal height is approximately 16cm.
Around week 33, we starting to measure a little smaller. The first time it happened, I was told it could just be the baby's positioning and we will check again in two weeks. We checked again two weeks later and the measurements did not move. So I was recommended to go and check it out via sonogram. There I learned that the baby was small but not too small and that my amniotic fluid levels were very low. Bedrest, light movement, and water consumption became the only things I was concerned about.
I did NOT want to be induced into labor so early but if I couldn't get the amniotic fluid levels up, that would be an option.
After close watch, we learned at week 38, that we were ok! But I should have the baby sooner than later since it was tight in there.
That's when I became OBSESSED with eviction! I drank raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil and did all the squats, all the walking, all the things I could to start encouraging the baby and the uterus.
At my 39 week appointment, I was recommended to try acupuncture! And that was the big decision that changed the course of the waiting game.
Acupuncture for inducing labor
Its typically recommended for moms who are past their due date. However, because of my unique situation, we didn't even want to risk going over. One acupuncture lesson on Thursday afternoon and my whole life changed! After that appointment, I was more energetic, less achy AND within hours, I was beginning to feel the first signs of labor.
Signs of labor