Saturday, 8 June 2013

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

Nikos London Nursery.

Hi Blogger fam.

So I am officially full term- 38 weeks and 1 day to be exact. I could technically go into labor at anytime and Niko would be just fine.

I wrote a few weeks ago about my birth plan. I want(ed) completely natural, no pain relief, no inducing drugs, being able to labor in water, delaying the clamping of the cord... You get the picture- NATURAL!!!  Well, all that seems to rapidly be going out the window as Niko is still in a breech position and has been for some time. Theres numerous reason as to why he could be breech other than that he's just comfortable.  If you read my story on my Journey to becoming pregnant you may remember me mentioning that my Uterus is the shape of a Heart. Well, this could play a big part in why Niko cant turn head down.  I also have Scoliosis- which is a curvature of the spine- this could be another reason since my spine in the shape of an S and may have effected my pelvic area also causing him to stay Breech. Whatever the reason is- it is.

Now, there are a number of ways that you can try to turn the baby while he's still in the womb. One is known as ECV- External Cephalic Version

             "External cephalic version, or version, is a procedure used to turn a fetus from a breech position or side-lying (transverse) position into a head-down (vertex) position before labor begins. When successful, version makes it possible for you to try a vaginal birth.
Version is done most often before labor begins, typically around 36 to 37 weeks. Version is sometimes used during labor before the amniotic sac has ruptured. This can be a good time to use version, when labor is constantly monitored and a cesarean delivery (C-section) can be done right away if needed. But the chance to do the version can be lost if labor speeds up or the amniotic sac ruptures.
A scheduled cesarean is used to deliver most breech births if a version doesn't work."

After watching some videos of ECV being done with my husband and reading up about it, we decided against trying to manipulate him to move. The risks just didn't seem worth it to me.

Ive read that theres other natural ways such as acupuncture and chiropractors and even a website called - which I have tried some of there exercises and suggestions but still no luck.  I am a big believer in "Whats meant to be will be", and at this point Im letting nature take its course.

Now, I am no new comer to surgeries however having a C section is MAJOR surgery- one of which I have never had before and the thought of it does scare me. Being that I have scoliosis the thought of a needle going into my spine FREAKS the crap out of me. Also the fact that they are cutting into a major organ... Im just scared.

After having my 38 week check up and speaking to my Dr after confirming that Niko is indeed still Breech he told me my options.
1- Trying Versions to try to get him to turn head down
2. Wait till he comes on his own and hope by then he has turned
3. Schedule a C section at a time where we are both mutually happy and hope better for the next time.

Since Versions is out- completely, my other option was to just wait it out and hope he turns.
The only issue I'm having with that is how much water my body is retaining and the fact that there is no guarantee he's going to turn and if I do go into labor naturally and he is still breech Ill need to have an emergency C section. Sure its normal to retain water and swell up at this point of pregnancy, but my body is extreme for whatever reason. I have developed carpal tunnel in my knuckles and what feels like my feet as well- if thats even possible. My ankles = NON existent. My feet are so swollen even my uggs wont go on. My face is swelling, my thighs get so inflamed sometimes that I cant even walk. I have tried compression stockings, elevating my feet- nothing is helping. My Dr said I'm one of the 30% of woman who experience extreme swelling of their extremities without developing Preeclampsia- but the excessive swelling is often an indication of just that. And I also have pitting edema- where my ankles and feet will keep my finger prints like a temper pedic mattress if I push on them. So needless to say, my dr , Alki and myself all felt comfortable with planning a C section due to Niko being breech and having a relaxed experience rather than having it be a rushed emergency. 

What is Preeclampsia- "Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia is a medical condition characterized by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman. If left untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, the life-threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy.
There are many different causes for the condition. It appears likely that there are substances from the placenta that can causeendothelial dysfunction in the maternal blood vessels of susceptible women.[1] While blood pressure elevation is the most visible sign of the disease, it involves generalised damage to the maternal endotheliumkidneys, and liver, with the release ofvasoconstrictive factors being a consequence of the original damage.
Pre-eclampsia may develop from 20 weeks' gestation (it is considered early onset before 32 weeks, which is associated with an increased morbidity). Its progress differs among patients; most cases are diagnosed before labor typically would begin. Pre-eclampsia may also occur up to six weeks after delivery. Apart from Caesarean section and induction of labor (and therefore delivery of the placenta), there is no known cure. It is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications; it may affect both the mother and fetus"

So that leaves me with having to get a C section even though Im completely terrified (selfishly) of a possible horrible scar and having to wait even longer to get back into the gym. My dr said his scars are usually really small at about the hair line but because NIko is breech he needs to make the incision a bit bigger so the baby's head does not get stuck :(
At this point Niko is just fine, and I go for weekly check ups with my Dr. But as of last week Alki and I decided that we would schedule a C section for June 12th at 11am unless Niko decided to come sooner- which of course if still breech would mean a c section anyway. He's been monitored bi weekly for months and his position has not changed.

So there you have it - Ill be having my baby June 12th at 11am London time due to a breech baby and excessive swelling and avoiding an emergency c section. Ill be 38.5 weeks.

Am I disappointed???? So, So.  Im not really disappointed, Ive kept an open mind about the whole process the entire time and this is life- and thats why having a birth PLAN is just that... a plan. But I worried that I would be missing out on "that moment". I worried I wouldn't be able to breast-feed , I worried Id miss out on the bonding of skin to skin, and that made me really sad. BUT- I did some research and spoke to my Dr and theres hope for my worries!!!

My C Section Birth Plan-

My concern- Can my husband still cut the umbilical cord? 
Docs answer- In theory, yes. Since everything is sterile over and around my body the Dr has to do the initial cut. But he will leave enough room that the midwife can take the baby over to Alki and Alki can cut in between the clamps.

My concern- Can I still have the bonding time and skin to skin right after he is born.
Docs answer- Yes, after the baby is taken and semi cleaned they will bring Niko to me and place him on my chest covered with a blanket since the surgery room is quite cold. I will need to tell the midwives the plan and not to wipe down his hands at the small and "gunk" on his hands will help guide him to my breast for breastfeeding (I've read)

My concern- Will I still be able to breastfeed?
Docs Answer- every person is different but just bc you have a c section vs a natural birth does not mean your milk will not come in- so essentially yes.

My concern- Theres  no way to delay the cord clamping
Docs Answer- NO- in a c section you cannot delay the clamping of the cord. So I have chosen to bank his cord blood and stem cells instead.

So with all of that being said I dont feel like I'm Missing out as much as I did before.

My Placenta Pills !!!!

I am still having my placenta turned into pills that I will take after Niko is born and I am even going as far as to having a shake made then and there in the hospital with a piece of my placenta RAW- a placenta smoothie. Please  see my older post about cord clamping and placenta pills to read more about my decision to do this.

In the UK I found the IPEN network and chose a placenta specialist from there -

What I used to prevent stretch marks.
Many will argue that it comes down to genetics, and while I agree I do still think that it is important to use lotions and keep your skin moisturized and that it does help in preventing dry itchy skin, and possibly stretch marks as well.. So here is what I did.
I went on amazon and ordered a bunch of all natural and raw butters.
-Raw cocoa butter
-Coconut oil
-Mango Butter
-Aloe Butter
-Shea Butter
I put some of the hard butters in a bowl and melted first in the microwave to soften it up first. Then I added everything into a pot on my stove and heated it up until they all became oil. I mixed them all together and then poured the mix back into containers and popped them in the fridge. When cold the natural butter will harden but when warm it becomes soft and sometimes even back into an oil form. I used an old glass Jam jar and kept it by my bedside and applied day and night. I truly believe that this did help in preventing stretch marks from appearing on my body. From a 23" waist to a 45"+ waist I have not 1 stretch mark. I do have a few on my butt and I believe its because I forgot to lotion my butt while doing my belly, boobs and hips in the 1st and 2nd trimester. Who knows- but there it is. I have so much left over Im actually going to buy glass jars and give some away to my friends who are expecting.
If you're pregnant and would like a jar please leave a comment and if I have enough I will gladly send you one :) IT even smells yummy from the raw cocoa *thumbs up*.

Recent Preggo Pics

37 weeks rocking my Have Faith Swimgerie bikini.
Look how swollen my hands are!

London <3

My Stokke Xplory stroller. Obsessed. Thanks mom

Hand made goodies by me for Niko <3

Mineral Fusion nail polish ! All natural vegan and clear of all toxic chemicals!! Great for during your pregnancy and after

My Hospital bag is from . I bought alki a simple Nike bag. I will be doing a video of whats in our hospital bags soon :)

Last but not least, Ive been asked repeatedly how much weight I have gained. I know I dont really look like I gained a lot - BUT I HAVE!!!!! Much much MUCH more than I ever thought I would. I have no pigged out during my pregnancy, I didnt eat junk food or candy, no sweets.... I didnt work out either though. With the move from California to London in the mid of a horrible winter here, not knowing anyone here in London, not knowing my way around and being pregnant I just wasnt motivated. I did light cardio at a gym near my house , light weights but barely enough to really say " I worked out" and I did stairs- since our home in London is 5 floors. But my entire pregnancy I always felt swollen in my hands, and once the 3rd trimester hit my body just went crazy with water retention.  Alki and I would like to have 3 kids together so I hope to god that my next pregnancies wont be like this. I do believe that if I was home in California, in my element with my friends and family things would have been different. BUT, I wont regret anything bc Niko has been healthy and has had no problems this entire pregnancy and for that Im so grateful. SO anyway- I am going to post my weight the day I go into the hospital. I started at about 115lbs give or take.

I have also been asked if I have nannies and help. Since Im living in London and do not have any of my friends or family to help alki and I have hired a Maternity nurse who will be with us for 8 weeks and then turn into a nanny until we go back to California after the holidays. She is vegetarian- and so up my alley. Into all natural remedies, products and clean eating lifestyle. Im very lucky to have found her.

My mom and brother will be coming out soon after Im out of the hospital since everyone has to take off from work to be here it would be a waste if they came while I was still admitted, although I would have loved to have "that experience" with all my family and friends in the waiting room... Theres always next time

Sorry if this post is all over the place. Im trying to get as much as I can in here as fast as I can because I rapidly feel my feet and hands swelling and I can't type on the computer while laying on my back with my feet up lol.

I am also going to post and document my postnatal recovery, weight loss and body.

Wish me luck <3

I post little videos regularly in Keek, Socialcam and Vine so look me up @Jenniferstano

My California Nursery
Having houses in different places means numerous places to furnish. Our London home is completely different from our California or our home in Greece , all of which need to be furnished for the baby and future babies, so I wanted to share with you my Nursery Set/ inspiration for California. This will be his main nursery which my mom treated Alki, Niko and myself to. Thank you ma, I love you. Niko is such a lucky little boy.

All of the furniture is from Restoration Hardware. They have the cutest sets and I just love the new distressed grey color of this set. They also have the best stuffed animals !!!

To create a life with the person I love more than anything will be my greatest achievement.
I love you forever moro mou

Read more ...