Diary Entry | 28 October 2015
My first consultation at Shiphrah Bahay Paanakan! Since it’s located in Taytay Rizal and we live in Cavite City, we woke up and left really early like 5AM. We arrived past 7AM which is good because we were asked to be there by 8AM. When we got there, there were only 2 moms waiting. I was anxiously observing their “system”. I saw a record book with 2 categories: Graduate and Non-graduate, and I listed my name under Graduate not knowing exactly what are they referring to. Haha. Apparently Graduate category is for those moms who are finished with Shiphrah’s 10 seminars. So I quickly changed my listing to Non-Graduate.
There’s a lot of waiting time and we’re clueless as to how our visit there would pan out. At around 830AM, the 2 moms who I first met asked us to go to the seminar area. Apparently there’s a bible study first before the seminar. We patiently sat down and listened although good thing I personally didn’t feel violated about this. Right after the bible study, one midwife — Ate Belle, greeted us, who will conduct the seminar.
It’s the batch’s 5th seminar and it’s only our first! It’s the perfect timing though because the seminar topic is childbirth! During the seminar there’s this foreigner photographer/videographer who was covering the talk and the attendees. We were in front so I’m pretty sure we were captured on film for the most part. After the seminar, non-graduates were asked to go inside to lineup for our prenatal checkup.
Since it’s my first visit, they asked me about my birthing preference: water birth or birthing stool. I answered the latter. Good thing I did because they said they can’t accept me if I prefer the water birth simply because all the (few) midwives who were trained to facilitate water birth are fully booked for December. In other words, my anxiety melted because even if I’m already 34 weeks pregnant, they still accepted me! I think it’s because when they checked my prenatal medical records they saw that I’m pretty much having a healthy, normal pregnancy. Hooray!
The midwife already created my Shiphrah record based on my prenatal medical records and I proceeded with the checkup. First they will check your weight, your blood pressure and your baby. During the latter, the foreign midwife noticed my edema. She referred me to the veteran (I think) midwife and she asked me to do the dipstick urine test. Your basically going to pee on the paper stick, and based on the color, they can read your protein level in your urine. Mine is +2. I was asked to have a high-protein diet. I was given a list of food that I should eat. Each recommended food has a corresponding protein star points and I should be getting 8 star points per day to help minimize my edema, which can be an indicator of preeclampsia, which is scary of course. We went home eager to achieve my 8 protein stars!
Symptom / Body Pain: I started feeling the pain under my right breast, on the upper right rib cage. I wasn’t sure if this is the baby kicking my ribs or my bra, but even if I removed my bra the pain persisted. It’s like muscle pain on that specific area, it’s tender when I press it.
Diary Entry | 2 November 2015
Symptom / Body Pains:
Thoracic spine / upper spine near nape of the neck. It started sometime in the afternoon yesterday. I couldn’t figure out though how I got it. But I found a really good explanation here Upper Back Pain During Pregnancy. I’m hoping I can schedule a prenatal massage soon.
Diary Entry | 3 November 2015
It has been a week but I still feel the pain in my upper right rib cage. I tried searching for answers online Aching Pain Under My Breast By My Rib Cage since I haven’t met with my OB yet, and found that it could possibly be an issue with gallbladder.
I will raise this concern on my next OB appointment and hopefully she will recommend for me to take some medical tests to rule out gallstones issues. I also had pain on my left groin after sitting in a weird position for so long while folding clothes. When I inspected my groin I felt a lymph node, so this needs to be checked as well.
Ecstatic and nervous that it’s only now that I have been researching and learning about gentle birth. I am confident though that we will be able to prepare well for our baby’s delivery with the help and support of families, friends, doctors and midwives who are advocates of natural gentle birthing.
Fatigue / exhaustion. My growing baby puts more demands on my body!
Shoulder pain. This probably occurred due to weight gain, my sleeping and sitting position. Stretching your muscles will help.
Skin changes. Acne on my belly persists and skin discoloration around my neck is very visible at this point.
Braxton Hicks contractions. There’s definitely an increase in the frequency and strength of my uterus tightening up.
Swollen lymph nodes. I had this on my lower right belly, but disappeared after a day or two.
Stretch marks. I never thought I will have tiger lines on both sides of my belly as well as on both thighs. I have passed first and second trimester without this but they appeared now on my third. Oh well.
Visible veins. I have this on my chest, probably because my body readies for nursing.
Varicose veins. I have a few on my legs and I’m hoping this will disappear after giving birth. *crosses fingers*