I am so excited! There are so many cool things going around. Cool people are writing cool things and I am just so excited to write about & share what’s cool for me! Birth is cool. I have a unique understanding of the whole process, well at least I think I do. It all started with my mom. She heals with her hands. I saw her work with her hands, helping people heal. I listened to her when she worked and I learned. I learned to trust my body, listen to my body, and look to my body for the answers. She instilled deep trust within me: our bodies are perfect and meant to heal. I grew up and followed my own path which led me to midwifery school. I never finished school but I learned that birth is the same as healing. We are meant to birth, all of this and to top it off I love to write. It is so exciting because how I feel about birth actually manifested in my life and now I am writing about it all.
I already wrote about my 1st trimester in my last blog, so now it is on to months 4, 5, & 6 of my unassisted… I mean self-assisted pregnancy. My second trimester hit and I was instantly worried about miscarrying. Four year prior to this I experienced a 2nd trimester miscarriage of a little baby girl. The sadness and trauma of this was coming up. I cried at night and woke up crying, for a couple of weeks. The fear and the sadness only went away when I talked to my partner about it. I was scared this baby would die too. The fear seemed to release after opening up about it and I stopped crying all the time.
My uterus continued to swell. It was measuring rather large actually. I kept thinking there were twins in there, but I am small and the fundus (the top of the uterus) was only slightly above average, so most likely not twins. I felt huge though. Palpating (feeling with your hands) the uterus is easy. The uterus will pop out just above your pubic bone. It feels hard. It keeps growing until the fundus is right under the rib cage. It is easy enough to look up a uterine growth in pregnancy chart and follow the progress of your pregnancy. The charts represent average growth. Women are all different so there is no exact perfect measurement. When I was measuring my own uterus (I just used my hands and fingers to measure, not an actual measuring tape) I was analyzing the charts thinking this baby was huge or there were 2! I am, however, just short and small (5’2, 115 lbs. not pregnant).
I weighed myself often. I wasn’t too concerned with how much I was gaining. One thing I was looking for was a 5-10 lb. spurt in weight gain in the second trimester that signifies good blood volume expansion. Without proper blood volume expansion your body can not deal with pregnancy correctly and bad things happen. That is why nutrition, eating well and a lot, is so important for pregnant women. Your body has to produce 50-60% extra blood to feed the placenta and the baby. Where does all that extra blood come from? Your liver has to make it. Your kidney’s also have to be working double time to filter all the extra blood and waist. I was trying the best I could to feed my body, so when I saw this 5-10 lb. spurt in my weight I knew all was working well and normally. I just had to keep it up for the remainder of the pregnancy.
Uterine growth and weight gain were the most important things to me in the 2nd trimester. I also had a fetoscope, watched fetal movement, and was interested in the baby’s position. My fetoscope was a crappy one off amazon and I couldn’t seem to find the heartbeat. The baby was moving a lot so I wasn’t worried about the heartbeat. I felt around my belly quite often because it is all so interesting to me. I was trying to figure out if there were 2 little ones in there! I wasn’t trying to asses fetal position yet, but I was trying to discern the fetal parts I was feeling. I looked to Anne Frye for help with figuring out what I was palpating. Her book, Holistic Midwifery Volume 1, was very helpful. She describes the head, the back, legs and arms, & butt and how to tell which part you are palpating.
My second trimester was a success! There is an unknown factor when it comes to pregnancy and birth. I didn’t know anything 100%, but I did know that things were looking normal. I never had an ultrasound and didn’t know the gender. I only knew what I could know for sure, for me that was just fine. I understand and trust the childbearing process and wanted to observe it undisturbed and on my own terms. The unknown was intriguing and surprising. I was pretty sure I was going to have a girl and any questions that came up I researched. I still had nausea if I went to long and hard without resting, eating , and drinking. The nausea was fine with me. It meant that the pregnancy hormones were flowing and told me to chill out when I needed to chill out. I just had to take care of myself and watch and wait.