Thirty-seven Weeks

posted by Dana with 5 Comments

We are just over thirty-seven weeks pregnant, due mid-January.  Everything is still good, with no issues besides the discomfort of being a million pounds and counting.  I am certainly at the beached whale phase, energy level is dwindling.

I did have a little crazy “nesting” episode the other day (just in time to thwart baking efforts before Christmas) and completely outdid myself rearranging my office all because I found a cool vintage filing cabinet which demanded removing a giant hutch (which I received help with), getting and assembling a new bookcase and moving all the millions of books and canned goods/wines involved in the rearranging.  The project poured into a little rearranging of the garage to make room for the hutch, etc… I was up till four in the morning and then had to recoup for two days, like a champ.  I’m still waiting to get another wind to go deal with the actual details like putting the files and canned goods back.

Around the same time in the last pregnancy with Eilena, I found myself compelled to build a chicken coop.  I guess when you don’t have a nursery to assemble, this is the sort of stuff that ensues.

My appetite is good, unfortunately.  I’d rather not eat any more because if this baby gets any bigger I’m going to explode!  I’m still all about my olives and prefer my vegies pickled, fermented, cooked or juiced.

I finished school two weeks ago concluding the very last term.  I am now a graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, minor in Political Science.  It feels amazing.  There will be more, probably a master’s in Public Policy though I’m still contemplating law school.  But for now, I am finished!

I have really begun to focus on preparing for birth with school finishing just in time.  I started packing my hospital bag.  Marce and Chris came down for a tour of the hospital about a week ago.  I did an initial birthing plan, got feedback from one of our midwives and Marce and Chris and am fine tuning a final draft. ( You can reference the last birth plan with baby E here as it is a little different for the surrogacy.  I’ll try to post the current one soon.)  I’ve designated my twin sister as “keeper of the space” and Jason will be my birth partner.  Marce and Chris will attend the birth as well, just like last time.  Marce’s parents are coming in from Israel to be with Eiliena during the birth and to help with the baby!

Three weeks ago I started taking a HypnoBirth class to help me better prepare for labor and delivery.  Last time I was not very prepared and never got control of the pain of labor so I wanted to take a course to remind me how this is done.  I went the HypnoBirthing route at the recommendation of a midwife I saw early on at OHSU.  Everything in this class confirms what, after much questioning and searching, I came to believe set me up for what probably could have been a preventable C-section with Eiliena.

The crux of the HypnoBirth philosophy, in my words, is that the pain experienced in labor is mostly due to fear that has built up over many generations of women being conditioned to believe that birth is scary, painful and dangerous and our ensuing inability to allow our bodies the peace and calm needed to do the work.  The book, “HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method” goes into the history of the care and status of women and even addresses the Biblical scripture that says a woman’s curse is pain in labor.  This is all very fascinating to me and makes perfect sense with what else we know of history and the fall of women.

I do believe that last time I was so anxious/excited about everything and worrying about Marce and Chris getting there on time and orchestrating everything, that I was never able to tap into a place of calm or peace and let my body do its thing.  Therefore, the pain just intensified to an unbearable level until an epidural became inevitable.  Between the adrenalin and interference of the epidural, my body’s hormones, which are responsible for moving the baby to the correct position and gently guiding baby to birth, were undermined.  Then, with a dropping heart rate in baby E, it just became evident that a C-section was the appropriate route to go.   (How’s that for my nut shell of what happened last time?)

HypnoBirth is about letting go of fear, trusting the birth environment (of course setting up a trusting birth environment), tapping deeply into a place of calm and using your breath to allow your body to do what it will naturally do.  The hypnosis part is simply a deep state of relaxation.

Very early on in the pregnancy, Chris assured me that he and Marce appreciate how I am always working to make sure they are included but that I could let go of worrying about them, they will assert themselves as needed.  He gave me permission long before I started this birthing class, to do what I’m saying I need to do and just focus inward.

We are at a different hospital, Oregon Health and Science University seeing the midwives with the Center for Women’s Health and I like and trust them 100% better than I did those at Kaiser, where we last were.  I am really going confidently into this next birth.

It is going to be so sweet to watch Marce & Chris meet their baby boy.  My current prediction, despite my earlier claims that I’m carrying a smaller baby, is that he will be born 40 weeks and two days and weight eight pounds and two ounces although I won’t be shocked if he weighs more.  If we go “late” like I did with my two kids I’m guessing he will be in the nine pound range.

It is time to start the polling.  When do you think baby boy will be born and how much do you think he will weigh?  The official 40 week mark is January 15.  Jason predicts a January 5 (full moon) birth with baby weighting 8 lb. 7 oz.

We are getting close!  Stay tuned!

Like this post? Please send it along...


  • Jodi Hisey

    No way will you make it to 40 weeks. But you’ll still have a 9 pounder.

  • Liz

    I vote for January 12th weighing in at 7.11. No reason, just sounds good. Lol. 🙂 I think it’s great that you’re using your past birth to help you problem solve in advance for this birth. I’ve heard of the hypnobirth “method” and have been curious about it. I keep going back between wanting to try natural or sticking with the familiar. I’m interested to hear how it goes for you and also what your packing in your hospital bag!

    • Dana

      You were pretty darn close! Jan 13, 8lb 1oz! I’ll post the birth story soon, it was so wonderful. Not without challenge but really good and peaceful.

  • Julie

    I did hypnobirthing with my own two children and my surro baby. I didn’t work as it had with my won kids with the surro baby. Water broke, contractions never started, needed pitocin. I never could relax enough and it was really very painful. I hope to not have to repeat that this time. Good luck to you, can’t wait to read your birth story!

    • Dana

      Julie, I am totally fascinated by the differences between surrogacy pregnancies/deliveries and those with our own children. It does seam to be a different sort of ball game. I just delivered my second surro baby and the preparations I did definitely helped but I needed the first experience to know how to plan for the second. It wasn’t just the hypnobirth part, it was setting up the entire birth environment that really helped this time, among other things like plain old good luck! Best of luck with your second surrogacy.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email is never shared.
    Required fields are marked *