Little One Loading: 97.5% Complete

39 Weeks Pregnant

I’m due in one week!!!! Aaaaah! I’m going to be a mommy, very soon. I had my last antenatal appointment this week at the doctor’s office. Everything was fine, even though I have been having quite some swelling in my hands and feet in the last few weeks. I was worried it could have been pre-eclampsia signs, but my urine and blood pressure were fine as always, so nothing out of the ordinary pregnancy wise. Swelling is normal in the last few weeks and the weather has also been quite warm this month, which also contributes to the swelling. Baby is still head down and dropped down ready for delivery. His heart beat is still strong and so is the pain in my pelvis making it hard for me to get around. Sleeping has become quite uncomfortable lately as well. I used to be a big fan of sleeping, my favorite position is on my belly, which obviously won’t do now. Now, I try to sleep on my sides and it’s not easy, and then I have to get up and out of the bed a few times each night to go to the toilet and with a baby deep in your pelvis that’s no easy feat, at all.

Belly Progress Weeks 29-38

I had a lot of fun documenting my belly progress over these last 11 weeks. I wonder if we have taken my last bump picture today? That could very possibly be true, or one or two more could happen in the next few weeks. It all depends on when baby is ready to come out. I don’t really have a feeling one way or the other, I’m not particularly anxious for labor to start, but I feel ready for when it does start. I’m just going to let it all happen and enjoy the last few days of rest before our new life as parents starts.

I also finally finished my birth plan (see below), which is basically a list of preferences for your ideal birth, and got it checked over by my midwife. She liked it. She confirmed that almost everything on my plan is the norm here anyways. The biggest difference between my plan and the norm, is me not wanting any medical pain relief. She told me that was fine (she had actually recently hypnobirthed her own daughter) and reminded me I am always allowed to change my mind, should I want to. We’ll find out how the actual birth of our little one will turn out, soon!

Birth Plan – Louana van Luttervelt
I am planning a natural birth without medical pain relief and without medical intervention at Stepping Hill Hospital. I would like to use a delivery suite with a birthing pool, if available. I would like to remain at home for as long as I feel comfortable and be attended by the community midwife at home to asses progress before going to the hospital.

Birth Partner
Husband Yasuhiro Kotera – I wish to have him with me at ALL times.

We are looking forward to a smooth and pleasurable birth experience using Hypnobirthing. I would like to birth in an atmosphere of gentle encouragement, allowing natural birth instincts and following my body’s lead, using the Hypnobirthing breathing down techniques for as long as possible, and only pushing if necessary at the end of the birth. To create a relaxing and calm atmosphere, I would like less rather than more people in the room, so I would prefer no student doctors or midwives present during my birthing process.

Positions for Labor and Birth
I do NOT want to be on my back on a bed.
I would like an active labor, remaining upright and mobile for as long as possible. I would like to use mostly upright positions and movements that will help me cope with contractions, and change these as I wish. I would like to try to rest between contractions where possible. I would like to find my own comfortable position for pushing.

Monitoring Baby’s Heart Rate
I would like baby’s heart rate to be monitored intermittently. If continuous monitoring is needed, I would like this to be done off the bed, perhaps on a birthing ball instead.

Pain Relief
I do NOT want any medical pain relief.
I would like to use Hypnobirthing breathing and relaxation techniques, massage, and a birthing pool (if available).

I do NOT want any interventions to speed labor up.
I would prefer to wait and take things gently, staying in tune with my body and my baby and see what happens naturally.

I wish to be very centered on myself at this stage. Information on progress and caring support will be helpful.

I do not wish to have an episiotomy unless vital and I or my husband agrees. I hope to avoid this and will appreciate support to adopt positions to minimize tears. If one occurs and if stitching is necessary, I do want a local anesthetic to be well administered prior to stitching.

Skin-to-Skin Contact
I would like the baby to be placed directly onto my tummy straight after birth for immediate skin-to-skin contact. My husband would like skin-to-skin contact with our baby, as soon as possible.

Umbilical Cord & Placenta
I would like the umbilical cord to be clamped after it has stopped pulsating or at least left for as long as possible. I would like my husband to cut the cord. I wish the baby to suckle to encourage the delivery of the placenta. I would like a few minutes of bonding time before having the injection if the placenta does not come naturally.

Vitamin K
We would like a Vitamin K injection for our baby.

Baby Feeding & Care
We do NOT want our baby to be given any formula milk.
I intend to exclusively breastfeed on demand, I would appreciate any help to do this successfully. We would like our baby to stay with one of us at all times. We would like to be consulted if our baby needs to go to special care.

I am planning a vaginal hospital birth without pain relief and without intervention / caesarean section, but, should circumstances dictate, I am willing to consider other options so long as I am fully informed of the advantages and disadvantages.

My husband and I will discuss all eventualities as they arise. Please, share any concerns with us as soon as they arise. We will be guided by balanced, informative advice. We want a healthy baby and mother and will take all necessary steps to achieve this.

It will help us to know the answers to these questions:

  1. What is wrong?
  2. What do you suggest and why?
  3. What would be the possible outcomes with and without this intervention?
  4. How much time do we have to make a decision?
  5. Are there any other courses of action open to us?

23 thoughts on “Little One Loading: 97.5% Complete

  1. You are super organized! Well done. Now you can sit back and wait at least 2-3 more weeks, as baby #1 is almost always late! If you have a mom or a sibling available for interviews — and you haven’t already (but I bet you have!) — ask them how fast their labor was, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have heard the same about baby #1. And people around me in England, and people I know in the Netherlands, all having their first have all been quite late over the last few years. So I’m kind of expecting the same ;).


  2. My first came one day before due date. The labour wasnt that fast like 12 hrs. The second one was also on time, labour was like 4,5 hrs. The last one came a few days later but still before 42 wks. Labourtime: same as the first one! 👶🏽👶🏽👶🏽
    Good luck, love!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did a bit of research on it. Apparently, average length of active labor (which starts at 3 or 4 cm dilation) during a first birth is about 8 hours and unlikely to last more than 18 hours, and subsequent births average length of active labor is 5 hours, unlikely to last more than 12 hours. So with your first (otherwise known as me!) you took quite a while, 4 to 5 hours for the second was perfectly average, and 12 hours for the third was extremely long, yet he was breech so it makes sense that it took much longer. So did he come more than a week late? After week 41, before 42? Or just a few days later, before week 41? I don’t remember.
      Wonder what my birthing statistics are going to be :).


  3. Very organized! As I said before my wife decided on the pain relief (forgot the name, but the one injected into the spine) besides that she had no further wishes. The went to hospital when her pain got too much during night and after first check up they send us to the birthing room as she had apparently waited long enough not to be send back home…
    Little Nathan was put straight in my wife’s tummy to have enough skin to skin contact and I cut the cord which wasn’t the easiest thing to do as I really hate blood or let’s say the iron smell thati nearly fainted (good conditions for me as an army front medic) thankfully the midwives got me some pineapple juice and let me sit down afterwards so I could gather my strengths again.
    It will be very emotional for both of you when you see your baby :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your wife had an epidural sounds like, very popular here too and especially America. I’m scared of needles, especially in my spine, so I prefer not to have that :).

      Envisioning you nearly fainting when cutting the cord made me laugh out loud! Haha, and you were an army medic, how on earth did you survive that? Lots of pineapple juice?

      Yeah, I’m expecting lots of tears when we meet baby, most certainly from me but also from Yasu :D. Anyday now!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah epidural it was :)

        Well, I really don’t know how I would fair in a war as a medic. Just remembering how we had to practice giving each other needle injections and iv’s make me fell dizzy.
        During birth I was holding my wife’s hand at all times but in retrospect she was perhaps holding my hand…

        Liked by 2 people

      • I would feel dizzy too if I had to do give and receive needle injections, no judgment from me :D.

        Aw, that’s so sweet, no doubt it was a very special time when you two were holding hands and little Nathan came into this world :).

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, nice plan!!
    I still have a few weeks until I need to discuss it with my midwife but I already have the paper to fill out. It’s just four or five questions, pretty easy and since epidurial or pain relief is no option in my hospital, it should be easy.
    Come when I have contractions in 10min intervals, push it out and well, stay for six days ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Six days… Phew! Yeah, I heard Japan makes you stay a long time. I’m surprised about the non pain relief. Heard giving birth in Japan is mostly on your back in a bed with IV, constant fetal heart monitoring, and pain relief. Good for you and baby yours has no pain relief. How about birth positions? Do you know yet what your hospital allows you to do?

      Here it’s normal to do your first part of labor at home, since it’s more relaxing atmosphere, then start thinking about going to the hospital, in your own car, when regular contractions are 5 minutes apart, or by ambulance, when contractions are like 2 minutes apart. Here you can go home the same day, if you want. Since I’ve never stayed the night in a hospital before, I think I’ll stay for one night. Also to make sure breastfeeding is completely successful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing only since they teach you a lot in those six days. My mom didn’t want to leave the hospital when she gave birth to me actually because she felt so secure there and there was always someone around who knew what and how to do it haha
        Pain relief is not very common in Japan since the belief is that the pain will connect and bond you even more with your baby. The midwive clearly said that there is no birth without pain and I am ok with that, I want a natural birth, but I am bit scared if I can really endure all the pain. I have a high pain level but then I have never felt birth pains, so I am not sure.
        I want to deliver in bed, the most common position, I think. But that also depends on how it feels in the end. They have other options, like ball, standing, chair etc too but no bath. However my hospital is only 5 walking minutes from my house, so I can still relax in the bath at home if I want to. I wouldn’t want to deliver in bath anyway I think.
        They told us to come to the hospital when the contractions are 10min apart.
        For breastfeeding, they encourage it a lot here in Japan, but in case you can’t or it won’t work for the first few days for some reason they will give formula. I am ok with that :) not happy but what can you do lol for some women it takes a while, while for some it works immediately after birth.
        I am thinking about a Hypnobirthing class, but it’s in English and hubby won’t understand it. But going alone might not be the same and one person still pays the couple price. It’s not thaaat expensive but if the result is not the same it might still not be worth it.
        Anyway, the baby will and must come out somehow. Just met a girl today and she did it without all, without course, without pain killers etc and she said she was fine :)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Of course, you can endure the pain of birth!!! Women’s bodies are made for this, that’s the nature’s whole point of the female human. Don’t worry about that at all. That’s why there’s no pain relief in my country either, it’s all part of the process if birth and there’s no need to deny it or hide it with drugs. I have never worried about the pain, that’s just normal, how else do we know we are in labor? You can do it, I can do it, women everywhere can do it!

        In the Netherlands, home births are common and when I and my brothers were born we had a baby care nurse with us at home for a week, teaching my mom everything and taking care of the house and cooking as well. Here in England, midwives, nurses, and health visitors visit you a lot in the first few weeks for the same purpose. It is always good to help from the professionals in the beginning, especially for new moms like us :). But what we don’t have at home is the excellent meals Japanese hospitals provide during your week there (I’ve seen the pictures of my friend who recently gave birth there, I was seriously jealous, haha).

        Even though my husband was there for my hypnobirthing classes, and he will help to relax me during labor, it’s not as much about him as it is about me. After the classes, I’m the only one who really read the books, did the homework, and listened to the hypnosis scripts and it was totally worth it. It teaches you all about what your body can do, how to listen to and trust your body and natural instincts and how your mind can assist in making it all easier. And you will also learn that giving birth on your back, makes it harder and more painful since you’ll need to push baby out upwards against gravity. But since you won’t be taking painkillers, your body will tell you what the best way to deliver will be for you at the time.

        Hypnobirthing sounds like some magical thing where you’ll be in an altered state or something, but it is more about natural birthing and trusting your body and baby know what to do and letting it all happen. Hypnobirthing gives you confidence, takes away your fears (if you have any), relaxes you, and makes the prospect of labor and delivery even more exciting. I really can’t wait for mine to start! It’s finally my turn to do this, it makes me feel like I’m becoming a real woman fulfilling my purpose!

        Liked by 1 person

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