Friday, July 25, 2008

Open Forum- What are some of the most important things to pack for the hospital?

Let's see what things we can come up with and we'll try to form the most comprehensive hospital bag list ever! After we get the list together, copy and paste it into your own document, edit it to suit your needs, and print it out for when you are ready to pack for the hospital. And I DO recommend packing way early. You never know when your water could break, and then you want to get to the hospital ASAP. Two out of three times I have found myself at the hospital totally unexpectedly in labor, and sending people to my house to pick up necessities for me.

Let's get this list going.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pregnancy Post- How to get that baby out Part II

Okay, time for some more tips on getting the baby out.

Stripping Membranes- This is when the doctor takes their finger and manually separates the cervix from the membranes or bag of waters. This releases prostoglandins which gives YOU contractions. This is a great procedure, I've heard it's painful sometimes, but it's really short. Some people even call it "sweeping" the membranes because it should just be a quick "sweep" of the finger. It, like many other techniques, won't put you into labor unless you are ready, but if you are close it can throw you over the edge. And if nothing else, contractions are the only way to progress, so most people will at least have enough contractions to dilate or efface a little bit more. My doctor will strip the membranes at 37 weeks, which is 2 weeks earlier than they can induce at my hospital. So personally, if I ever were to make it to 37 weeks which I haven't, I would ask the doctor to start stripping my membranes at my weekly appointments, it can be done multiple times. And many people (commenter Amber included) have their baby in their arms within hours of membrane stripping, so it's worth a shot if you're ready for that baby.

Castor Oil- Not to be confused with Castrol Oil, which would be a very bad thing to drink. Castor oil is essentially a laxative, but it has been theorized to have much better results than a regular laxative at inducing labor. Castor Oil has a similar effect, only maximized, to that of eating spicy foods. As it stirs things up in your bowels, it frequently causes contractions of the uterus. There are a few problems with Castor Oil. First of all it does give you diarrhea. That's the whole point. If you aren't okay with that, don't take it. Or I should say if you think diarrhea is worse than pregnancy, don't take it. Personally, I'd rather have a day of diarrhea than another week of pregnancy. Also, it is OIL. It is pretty tough to guzzle oil. I wouldn't recommend taking any less than 2 oz of Castor Oil if you are looking to go into labor. I'd start with 2 oz, and if that doesn't work, I'd go for 4 oz. Yes, that is the whole bottle. Two tablespoons will get you nowhere. My personal recommendation (which comes only from watching people drink it, not drinking it myself) is to drink the whole thing at once, and chase it down with something that will really clean the oil out of your mouth. Orange juice, root beer, whatever. If you notice yourself gagging, keep things going down. My Mother's rule is that if things are going down, they aren't coming up. It seems obvious enough, but don't forget it. Having a cookie or some bread to chew up and soak up the oil will help too. I believe in Castor Oil. I've never needed it, but I bought a bottle years ago, and I keep it on hand in case anyone I know needs it. It can be found at any grocery store probably by the laxatives.

Intercourse- Oh isn't that the most pleasant thought when there is already a baby's head in between your legs, and feet in your ribs? But it is one of the best proven tools for starting labor on your own. It's so effective for me in fact, that my doctor puts me on pelvic rest for most of my pregnancy to keep my babies in. There are a multitude of reasons for this working. 1. Semen has prostoglandins in it, essentially it is just like the stuff that they use to induce you
at the hospital. Prostoglandin leads to an increase in oxytocin receptor populations. An increase in oxytocin in your body is just like sticking an IV of Pitocin into your body, only maybe in smaller amounts. 2. The irritation can stir up some contractions. 3. Orgasms release oxytocin as well. It is frequently said that you get the baby out of you the same way you got that baby in you. But maybe it was a man that came up with that. :)

Movement- It is up to you to determine what causes your contractions. Some people don't contract at all until they are in labor. For me, I can cause some great contractions from sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. Whatever causes those contractions, keep doing it. Especially if you've already got some contractions from some other self-induction technique. You'll want to keep those contractions going, but you have to keep moving. My strict orders for stopping my pre-term contractions are to drink some water, take a bath, and lay down on my side. So if you want to keep contractions coming.... don't do those things!

With all this said, please don't do anything stupid. If you feel nervous about anything, don't do it. Don't try to get the baby out before 37 weeks, it's not worth it. This isn't for everyone. But for those who are just desperate to get that baby out ASAP, these are some great tips, all time tested by a whole lot of women.

Next post coming up will be an open forum with advice on what to pack in the hospital bag. Be thinking, and check back for that post soon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tidbit- Pregnancy Tests and Miscarriage

If you suspect you are having a miscarriage, a pregnancy test is not a reliable way to find out for sure. It's possible, especially early on to have a negative, or even lightly positive pregnancy test if you have miscarried. But more likely, it will take quite awhile for the hcg to diminish from your bloodstream, and thus give a negative pregnancy test. After my miscarriage, I had positive tests for around 3 weeks after my D&C.

The best thing to do if you suspect you are having a miscarriage is to call your dr's office and demand an ultrasound. Your insurance should pay for it if it is for diagnostic purposes, which it is. On one hand, mother's have intuition that cannot be denied... on the other hand, we all tend to panic when we know there is a baby involved, and sometimes we worry about nothing.

Listen to your heart, you'll figure out what to do, but don't expect the pregnancy test to diagnose a miscarriage.

Stay blogged and get Preggot!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pregnancy Post- How to get that baby out!- Part I

I have some friends nearing the end of pregnancy, which always reminds me of my first pregnancy (The only time I made it to full term-37 weeks) and how desperate I was to get my baby out. My best friend was due with her first a month before me, and he came out a month early. I couldn't possibly watch her for two months with her baby while mine was stuck inside. I dilated very early, contracted all the time, and totally expected my baby to come early, but I still REALLY researched methods of self-induction, and even practiced a few of them. Well my other two boys came too early for me to practice any self-induction, in fact I was trying to keep them in. So since I don't get to experience it, I LOVE coaching other people. Here is my humble opinion on what works and what doesn't....

Evening Primrose Oil- You can find it at Walmart or probably any grocery store pharmacy. It is located right with the vitamins. I TOTALLY believe in this stuff. It will NOT put you into labor, it will only help your cervix ripen. I have seen this work with so many people. My next door neighbor was closed up and hard at 41 weeks with her first child. She took Evening primrose oil, among other things, and was dilated to 2.5 at 36 weeks! What an improvement. Her first delivery took a day and a half, and the second took less than 6 hours! I totally believe in this stuff. Purchase 1000 mg capsules and take 2 a day (either orally or vaginally) beginning around 33 weeks. Watch your cervix soften and dilate, and enjoy the thought of less laboring on the actual labor day. And don't worry, it won't put you into labor before you're ready.

Clary Sage Oil- This can be found at health food stores. Put a few drops on your belly, and rub it in. This should induce contractions. It works for some, and it doesn't work on others. It's worth a shot though!

Spicy Foods- Contractions of your intestines help start contractions in the uterus. I was stuffing my face with chips and salsa at my favorite restaurant when contractions started with my second child. I just kept eating more chips and salsa, and the contractions kept coming. When we left the restaurant the contractions stopped.... but started up again and he was born around 10 hours after lunch!

Stay tuned for Part II with more tips on how to get that baby out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pregnancy Post- Fetal Heart Rate and Gender

So a friend of mine posted asking for peoples experiences on fetal heart rate and gender. The old wive's tale is that high heart rates (>150) equal girls. And low heart rates (<150).

The blue circles are the boys and the pink are girls, and they are pretty equally spread. The findings of this study show no conclusive evidence that heart rate is linked to gender in any week of pregnancy.

That said, I love wive's tales.

Stay blogged and get Preggot! (whatever that means, my husband made it up, and now it's just kind of funny)