The Final 10: 30 Weeks

Bathtub Kicks at 30 weeks

30 weeks has really seemed like a major turning point in my pregnancy. It just feels like, “Okay! Here we are! The final count down! EEEEk!”. In my pregnancy with Luna, I went into spontaneous labor towards the end of my 37th week. Based upon that information, I’m thinking we’re looking at another gestation of around 38 weeks. (We’ll see!) If that is true, I could be looking at only 8 weeks left!

I thought it would be fun to journal what is going on with me and baby in these last several weeks. My goal is to write a minimum of 1 post per week with updates, tips and tidbits. So, lets get started!

About 2 weeks ago I started to feel some pain in my inner thighs close to my pelvis as well as around my hips and glutes. I remembered experiencing some soreness in these areas with my last pregnancy, but not quite this early on. A few days went on and the pain just kept getting worse and I mentioned it to a friend midwife (not my own) who suggested to speak with a physical therapist. Well there just so happened to be this gal everyone in my birth community kept talking about so I almost immediately shot her a message and asked what she thought. We chatted and scheduled a consult.

Jenny Archer & Me: 30 Week Appointment

At my appointment with Jenny Archer, we found that my adductor tendons were aggravated and my pelvis was out of alignment. We discovered that I wasn’t using my gluteus muscles nor my lower abdominal muscles properly which was basically throwing everything out of whack. I was diagnosed with an early and more mild case of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). We believe that I had gotten to this state due to the hormone that is produced in pregnancy called relaxin, but also mostly due to lack of movement and improper sitting. I sit at a computer desk 5 days a week, cross legged and really hadn’t been getting much conscious movement or exercise. BOO! (PS, I teach how important this is in my childbirth class, yet here I am FAILING. Why do we not take our own advice?) Jenny did some muscle work on me for about an hour and we worked on exercises for another 30 minutes. By the next day, I saw a pretty significant improvement. Within a week of being diligent with my magnesium (both orally & topically), doing my exercises and being conscious of how I am sitting as well as getting up and moving around throughout the day, the pain was pretty much gone! I went for another visit this week (week 30) with Jenny and she had seen improvements as well. We did some more muscle work, chatted a bit and decided to hold off scheduling another appointment unless symptoms get worse. I will likely do at least one more if not two more visits with Jenny before I give birth.

In conjunction with my physical therapy appointments with Jenny, I had been seeing DeAndra Herndon with Generation Chiropractic. Really, I started seeing DeAndra at the beginning on my pregnancy, aiming for a minimum of 2 adjustments per month but it was around 28 weeks that I decided it was time to start seeing her a minimum of once per week. Chiropractic work is so important during pregnancy and I personally recommend all women take advantage of this care throughout their entire pregnancy, regardless of having any known complications or not.

Fun tid bit – DeAndra is also growing a baby and is expecting in the same month as me AND we share the same Midwife and Doula. Its been great going to her and chatting about how we both feel as we are going through the same stages of pregnancy together. Once I started to get the painful symptoms of SPD and aggravated adductor tendons, I immediately brought this to DeAndra’s attention and she started adjusting me in ways to better support my unique case. I would give her Jenny’s feedback and give Jenny DeAndra’s feedback and they would adjust accordingly. It was definitely a collaborative effort and I’m truly thankful to have both of these ladies on my team!

During my 30th week I also picked back up on teaching my childbirth classes. Currently I have a group course going as well as a private course. It has been really fun and engaging teaching a group of women and their partners about pregnancy, birth and postpartum while I am also pregnant. Many of the women in my class are expecting pretty close to the time I am. I feel that this has allowed me to connect even more to these families plus it has been a great refresher and reminder on what is important as I’m navigating my third trimester.

Week 30 Tips:

  • If you haven’t already started seeing a chiropractor, start now. During pregnancy women’s tendons, muscles and ligaments tend to get short, stiff and tight causing all the familiar discomforts we feel in pregnancy. Back pain, pelvis/hip pain, leg pain, rib pain, neck/shoulder pain, round ligament pain, the list goes on – chiropractic adjustments can help! In addition to the discomforts that we often feel, another huge benefit of chiropractic care in pregnancy that often times we can’t see or feel from the outside is positioning of baby! The more tight and rigid we are in the areas mentioned above, the harder it is for baby to obtain optimal positioning, thus affecting the rotation and descent of baby when it’s go time which can cause irregular and more painful labor symptoms. Talk about positioning… the dreaded word we all hate to hear in our third trimester… BREECH. Our baby is hanging out in our uterus with feet or bum down and head up and while this IS considered a variation of normal, many providers do not practice breech deliveries and will push for a Cesarean if baby does not turn. SOUND THE ALARMS! I hear it a ton in my doula practice and the first thing I typically recommend to help a baby turn is… you guessed it, Chiropractic Care (along with exercise from Spinning Babies). Do be sure to see a Chiropractor in your pregnancy who is familiar with pregnancy and is preferably Webster trained as they tend to have a better understanding of the unique needs of a growing and expanding pregnant body. Visit HERE for more information on chiropractic care during pregnancy and how it relates to positioning of baby.
  • Pelvic Floor Health! You would be surprised how many women do not know about their pelvic floor (I didn’t until I took my childbirth class) yet have signs and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. In short, the pelvic floor is the core of the female body. It is the group of muscles and tissues that support all of the organs in the pelvis, vagina, uterus, bowel and bladder. These muscles control urinary function, bowel movements, sex, orgasms and birth. Because we sit so much many of us have a weak pelvic floor (cough, cough…me) and often times due to the nature of pregnancy and birth our pelvic floor becomes damaged. We go years and years of having symptoms that although are common (leaking of the urine, painful sex, difficult bowel movements, inability to orgasm, etc), they are not normal. Furthermore, our pelvic floor is directly related to our ability to birth our babies. All of this sounds extremely important, right? So my tip is, see a Physical Therapist who specializes in pelvic floor health. Ideally at least once in pregnancy and once postpartum and ESPECIALLY if you are having any incompetence. Their care is often covered by insurance and it is truly invaluable.

Week 31 Goals:

  • Continue aiming for half my body’s weight in ounces of water and grams of protein per day. Hydration and protein is so important in pregnancy and can truly make a huge difference in how you feel. Protein is broken down by amino acids in our body and used to repair/build body tissues and organs. Our babies are built from these amino acids and if we are not providing ourselves with the adequate amount our body will begin to break down its own tissues to get the building blocks needed for baby. My current weight is around 155 lbs so I am trying to get in about 75-80 ounces of water and grams of protein per day. (Check out the Brewer Diet for what I believe to be the best diet to aim for in pregnancy)
  • Continue doing my exercises from Jenny to keep this SPD at bay and manageable. Prenatal Cat to Table, Wide Knee Child’s Pose, TA Activation (Baby Hugs) and Supine Glute Set. Aiming for twice a day.
  • Set time aside every day to take a 20 minute minimal Epsom salt bath. I can really feel the difference when I’m regular with this.
  • Start developing my birth plan for if my home birth turns into a transfer as well as my postpartum sanctuary plan.

The Final 10

Here we are, 30 weeks pregnant and wondering where the last 7 months have gone. I know that this final stage will fly on by and before I know it, I will be freshly postpartum holding a teeny little baby. Sometimes I can close my eyes and imagine what that new life will look like…a family of 4. I know one thing, everything is about to change.

I decided that I wanted to document these last several weeks. I really wish I thought to start documenting a little earlier, honestly.

Being a doula this pregnancy has really enabled me to have a deeper connection and better understanding to what women go through during this time. The third trimester typically requires so much from us, both mentally and physically. Maybe what helps me could help you!

So, over the next 10+ weeks I plan to make weekly updates! I hope you will join me for the fun.

Parenting and “Modeling Graciousness”

Good morning! I stumbled across an amazing article last night and the words have resonated with me. The article is based off a certain style parenting that I strive to follow, called Gentle Parenting.  It addresses a very common question that I am certain all parents ask themselves during their parenting journey…and that is “What do I do when my child simply refuses to do what I am asking them to do?”, otherwise worded as “What do I do when I’m not in control?”.

C O N T R O L. That’s right. Control is something that all of us feel we have to have when it comes to our children, however, this article really made me think differently. Our children aren’t some worker bees that we should feel the need to control. They are live human beings with their own thoughts and desires and no one should ever feel controlled…little or big. The article pointed out some real life statements that I know I have said inside my head…

“If I don’t make them do it, I’m a pushover,”

“She HAS to. I’m the parent, I have to make her do it,”

“It’s my JOB to teach her. She may be stubborn, but I can outlast her.”

“My life is going to be hell if I don’t insist that they do it. They’ll walk all over me.”

“I am NOT going to have one of those entitled kids who expect their parents to do everything for them.”

“They have to learn responsibility and that actions have consequences!”

“I have to make it clear that I’m in charge. It’s non-negotiable. I’ll sit here until they do it.”

However, after reading those statements out loud, I find myself questioning the statements!! Just like the writer states, ” I find myself in a position of seeing things a bit differently. You know what I think and feel as I read those examples up there? I think that they all sound a bit like we’re dealing with the enemy. They’re adversarial. I’m right, they’re wrong. I know better. They’re just stubborn. I have to break them. I’m The Parent.”.

“And fear.  Let’s not forget about fear.  Fear that we’ll be ineffectual.  Fear that our children will grow up to be entitled.  Fear that our friends and relatives who think we’re those kooky people who do that “gentle discipline stuff” will laugh and shake their heads at us, either in our presence or behind our backs, or both.   Or worse yet, they’ll “tsk” at us, as if to say “Well, if you were more in charge, your kids would have better manners.”  Lots of fear in parenting.”

“See, the thing is, I don’t think we have to have that sort of relationship with our children. I know we think we do. But we don’t. It’s a choice. It’s not a non-negotiable. There are other ways.

And my last quote before I just let you read the article yourself…

“Now, before you think I’ve gone completely loony tunes (or–gasp–that I am in favor of permissiveness, which I assure you that I am not), let me say that yes, I do know and accept that our role as parents is to “teach” responsibility, values, helpfulness, manners, self-care, independence, routines, cause and effect, blah blah blah. The problem–and it is a problem–is that these are things that can’t be taught. Well, okay, they can be taught. It’s true, you can make your kid do anything. But the things that you “teach” don’t stick. Not in the way that I want them to at least.”

“Children do not learn from what we say. They don’t even learn from what we do. They learn from who we are. And they’re always watching.”

That last one right there…that is what I fell asleep last night thinking about and what I woke up this morning still thinking about. If I want Luna to grow into a responsible, independent and kind human being who respects others…I HAVE TO BE THAT PERSON. And this article really sets some amazing examples on how to be that person even in the most stressful situations where power struggles are at a max. I encourage you to read the entire article and I hope you walk away from it learning something! After all, our children deserve our best and every single human being deserves to be respected.

CLICK HERE – How to Model Graciousness