OLYMPIC CHAMPION | ENTREPRENEUR | MUM

Pregnancy Diary 28 weeks – The birth plan

Our bub weighs over 1kg – like your litre water bottle!

waterbottle

Things went smoothly this week. I spent half my time in Lorne preparing for our move in the next couple of weeks. We’ve got a lot of packing up to do yet, but with a few helpful hands it will get done one way or another. I picked up another award this week at the annual Victorian Olympic Council gala event winning the Most Outstanding Female Athlete for 2014 with teammate David Morris taking out the mens. Such a great night with so many Olympic heroes past and present in the room, so it was nice to be recognised as one of them! We also celebrated Thanksgiving over the weekend with a delicious turkey roast prepared by my American sister-in-law. I’ve had the pleasure of celebrating Thanksgiving in the US and Canada on many occasions over the years, so it was nice to celebrate one in Australia.

I had a new pregnancy symptom this week – hello leg cramps! The only time I get them is in bed when I do a bit of a stretch. As soon as I point my toes, my calf muscles seize in cramps. Note to self: don’t point the toes when stretching. Ouch!!!  I also had my 28 week checkup, glucose test and blood test this week. I don’t mind the fizzy sugary lemonade drink you need to drink prior to the test and downed it in a flash. Guess I was thirsty:) I haven’t got the results yet, but everything else seemed to be fine. Baby is a good size, it’s heart rate is fine, my blood pressure is normal and we started discussing the approaching birth.

28 weeks

With Kai, I didn’t really have a birth plan as such that I was set on. All I wanted was a delivery that was the least trauma to me and my baby. I discussed with my OB that I wanted to continue aerial skiing and that my pelvic floor was very important to me and I needed it intact! We also discussed that a cesarian would make my recovery a lot longer, so we planned to avoid it if possible. Easier said than done and in the moment you need to do what you need to do to keep you and your baby safe.

I had heard horror birth stories from friends and I knew what I didn’t want to happen so I worked closely with my OB to prepare and work on things that could help me during birth. In the end, although I had a long 20 hr labour, I had a trauma free vaginal delivery allowing me to have a full come back to high impact sport. Here’s a couple of things that worked well for me….

1. Pelvic Floor Exercises. The muscles of the pelvic floor support the bowel, bladder, uterus (womb) and vagina. Pregnancy and childbirth can weaken these muscles and cause problems, such as incontinence or prolapse – which no gal wants. It is also suggested that strong pelvic floor may help shorten the second stage of labour and particularly after birth,  pelvic floor exercises help to heal any damage to your perineum by increasing blood supply to the area. Best of all, they’re free….so you’d be a douche not to do them:)

2. EPI-NO This device might seem a little daunting but if perineal injury is a concern for you (as it is for me) then this is a really useful device (which is complemented by perineal massage) and helps you prepare for the pushing stage of childbirth. Sorry ladies, nothing prepares you for the contractions! You can find EPI-NO’s at selected pharmacies or online.

This time round, the ‘plan’ is the same and I’m hoping to have a similar outcome, but I also want to go in knowing what my options are and I’ll be asking the same questions. What type of pain management is available if I need it? What positions are best/safest/least traumatic for delivery? What tools (like baths, tense machines etc) can I use to help me when in labour? What techniques compliment childbirth (breathing techniques, hypnosis)? What should I expect for myself and baby after birth?  It’s good to go over the ‘what if’ scenarios so that when you are in the moment, you can make an educated decision for yourself. Plenty to think about and prepare for as I enter the 3rd trimester. Can’t believe how quick this pregnancy is going!

 

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