September 17, 2011

My Pregnancy with Grace

In the process of writing Grace's birth story, I found myself adding so many pre-birth details that I decided to write a post about my pregnancy with her. All in all, my pregnancy with Grace went smoothly. Prior to becoming pregnant with Grace, I moved from the doctor practice that delivered BB (more like I ran screaming) to a practice that included a midwife. After gathering my medical history, my midwife felt that I had most likely had undiagnosed gestational diabetes with BB, which helped to account for his large size. She was confident that my previous labor and delivery experience could be avoided by closer monitoring during subsequent pregnancies. When I became pregnant with Grace, she made plans to test my glucose tolerance level earlier in the pregnancy and cautioned me about not gaining weight excessively.
The first five months of my pregnancy passed uneventfully. Other than morning sickness, I felt fine and everything was going well. When it came time to test my glucose tolerance, I failed the test with flying colors, earning myself a diagnosis of gestational diabetes (GD). Even though I knew what my midwife had said about my pregnancy with BB, I was still surprised that I failed the test. I was more than a little bummed that I now had to check my blood sugar 4 times a day and carefully watch what I ate. It was at this point that I decided that 36 weeks gestation would be "cooked" enough for me, and I started praying that I would go into labor as soon as it was safe for Grace. For me, there were few things worse than having pregnancy cravings and not being able to give in to them. On the plus side, thanks to the strict GD diet and my ever-present morning sickness, I only gained 5 pounds during the pregnancy (before you start hating me, keep in mind that I was fat to start with).
At 32 weeks, I had a 3D/4D sonogram which revealed that Grace was breech. My midwife told me that they would give her until 36 weeks to turn, and then they would want to do an external cephalic version to flip her around. I did not like this option at all, especially after I Googled it and read the risks associated with the procedure. At my next chiropractor appointment, I happened to mention that Grace was breech. My chiropractor suggested a chiropractic technique called Webster's technique that has a good success rate at encouraging babies to turn on their own. I agreed to let him try the procedure, and started going to him twice a week. At my 36 week appointment, the sonogram showed Grace head-down, just as she needed to be.
As time went on, I became increasingly concerned about how large Grace was going to be. While my blood sugar levels and weight gain were ideal, I was still very worried that history was going to repeat itself in the delivery room. The technician guesstimated Grace's weight to be 6lbs., 12oz. at 36 weeks, and by 40 weeks, she guesstimated 8lbs. Predicting the size of a baby via sonogram is in no way an exact science, as BB was estimated to be 8lbs. right before birth, only to weigh in at 10lbs., 5.2oz. at his birth. I asked my midwife if there was anything that she could do to go ahead and speed things up. As my cervix was soft and I was dilated to a one, she went ahead and stripped my membranes and scheduled me for an induction the following morning...

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