Saturday, November 30

36 Weeks Pregnant

Today I am 36 weeks pregnant.  I realized that I don't have much written down about this pregnancy (poor neglected child, already) so I thought I'd come by, dust the cobwebs off my blog, and let y'all know what's been going on.

26 weeks pregnant... Outgrowing my shirts.
I knew it was time to update y'all after I had the first "breakdown" last night.  It wasn't a big one, but it's a sign for me that I'm getting close to the end.  And thank goodness... Let me explain.

I conceived this little one almost immediately after my second miscarriage, which means I would have been due with the baby we named Veronica right about now.  It's been a little surreal thinking about that as I look at my swollen belly, but I have to make sure to include her on this journey because I know she and her big brother Samuel have been praying for us during this pregnancy.  I've been healthy but in a private way, a nervous wreck.  Once I could feel the baby kicking, things got a little better.  It took a little longer for me to feel this baby move, but one night, when I was 18 weeks and 6 days pregnant, s/he started kicking and hasn't stopped since!  Now of course the movements I feel (and you can likely see) are more like slow rolls that I feel in several places at once.  Just today Ryan was watching a little elbow poke out and disappear in again, over and over again.  It weirds him out but I like that he can see a little bit of what I feel all over!

The big babies feeling the little baby roll around

So it's reassuring to feel the baby move every day, and when I notice I haven't felt him/her in awhile I can easily wake him/her up with a little effleurage on my tummy.  I am certain this child switches positions on a daily basis- head down always but s/he rolls from posterior to anterior constantly.  I'm hoping that s/he decides to come when s/he is lined up correctly!

I've made myself not do anything baby-related until about this point.  It's too early and although I've been nesting the past two weeks, there's not much I can do now.  I'm not setting up a nursery, I don't know which clothes to pull out, I'm not ready to install a car seat or pack a bag for the birthing center.  I have been working on my postpartum support plan, which is something new for me this time.  It's just a simple letter and list of what I expect and what others should expect from me during the first few months of baby's life.  It's something I've learned a lot about recently, as a doula, and since it's something I teach to clients I decided I should practice what I preach! 

All of my midwife appointments at our birthing center have gone well, nice and easy and generally pretty quick.  Since they're uneventful, I count that as a positive!

I feel like I've been more healthy this pregnancy, mostly because we have become more focused on our diets in the past 3 years.  I don't eat a lot of junk- and when I do indulge, I generally feel awful because of it, so it hasn't been worth it.  I've had a few food aversions but I am trying to focus on protein and my iron intake, since that is always low for me.  I haven't been as good as I'd like to be about exercising, but I am staying mobile and limber by stretching and doing yoga at home.  I have learned that I have to have generally two periods of my day for laying down in order to keep my lower back pain-free.  Too much standing and sitting really make my back ache after awhile, and laying down is the only thing that helps, so I try to lie down for about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes before I start cooking dinner in the evening.  This has only been possible because my kids are older this time around... I mean, Jack is almost 3.5.  That's a huge difference from my last pregnancy, when Luke was 20 months old!

31 weeks- the day of Luke's 5th birthday party

Because of that fact (that Jack is so much older), I have been pretty optimistic during this pregnancy that my recovery will go smoother.  Physically I've always recovered pretty easily, but mentally and emotionally it's been hard.  But, then I had babies when I gave birth- now I have big kids.  Still, I'm preparing for my postpartum recovery by setting up "nursing stations" around the house (making sure I have a soft place to sit to nurse, and a basket with all my nursing accessories, and a place to put my glass of water), creating an easy to-do list for anyone who wants to come over and help for 20 minutes, hiring some cleaning help at least once a month,  preparing some new games/books for the kids to play with when they get bored and I'm stuck nursing, filling my freezer with already-cooked meals, and perhaps the ickiest thing of all- I'm encapsulating my placenta!  Yes, it means what you think- someone is going to prepare it for me by drying it, grinding it, and putting it into little pills for me to ingest.  Yummy! ;-)  I am also considering running/walking a 5K in March- nothing huge but just enough of a small goal to get my up and exercising as soon as my body is ready.

I had my last doula client about a month ago, and my next client should be in May/June.  In the mean time, business is on hold, which is sort of sad but of course a necessary and good thing for me!  Everyone is asking me if I'm hiring a doula.  It's tricky.  I know and of course I fully believe in everything that I do as a doula.  I spoil mamas during labor and they love it- at least this is what they tell me!  I know how awesome that would be for me and I want that- I really do!  BUT.  My last labor was 4 hours long, and I didn't want ANYONE to touch or talk to me.  I've said before that it was painless up until the pushing part.  So for me, I am not sure that I want to hire someone (and frankly, I am really not sure who I'd hire) to maybe be a part of my birth experience. That being said, I do have a sweet friend who has offered to come be my doula if I go into labor and change my mind for whatever reason.  Which is possible- I know that not all labors are the same, and if the baby is malpositioned or there's something else going on, I realize it could very easily be a long and painful experience.  I am thankful to have her sort of on-call for me to help in case I need it, though I do feel like I'm perhaps not "practicing what I preach" by not hiring a doula!  But at this point, I'm comfortable with my decision- it's very possible I'll chicken out in a week or two and scramble to frantically hire someone!

I have been nesting the past couple of weeks, accomplishing more in a week than I previously had accomplished in a month.  For example, in only one day last week, I deep-cleaned my bedroom and organized my closet, pulled out my sewing machine and made a Christmas pillowcase, did 4 loads of laundry (and folded it and put it away), and deep-cleaned that pantry (which included organizing the games and craft supplies)- all this in addition to resting, praying, reading a fiction book for pleasure, schooling, and cooking.  My whole week was like that!  Talk about feeling accomplished!

I did manage to catch a cold last week.  Probably the same crud everyone else has right now- a dry, hacking cough that makes my head hurt each time I cough.  That cough, in addition to the baby being so big and pushing up on my lungs, meant I could hardly breath last night, and I just wanted to collapse in tears, but I knew crying certainly wouldn't help clear out my nose!  It was the start of an anxiety-filled emotional breakdown, and I had a hard time catching my breath and getting control of it.  I need to shake this cough fast- not being able to breath because you're pregnant is one thing- but not being able to breath because you're sick AND pregnant is a whole 'nother feeling!

So baby has a few more weeks to finish growing, and I'm praying this one decides to come early before the due date.  I would love to have the baby before Christmas, to put some distance between his/her birthday and Beth's birthday.  Also I'd love to not birth another almost 10-pound baby, though I certainly know my body can do it. ;-) 

Today- 36 weeks

Being pregnant during Advent add another element of solemnness to the season.  We don't celebrate Christmas yet- we're waiting for Jesus to come.  I walked the journey with Mary seven years ago when I was pregnant with Bethany, and the Lord has decided that I should walk with her again this year.  All of the Advent hymns about "waiting"... They mean something a little different when you're about to burst with child.

All-in-all I am not about to complain about anything during this pregnancy. It's been pretty textbook perfect, and although there are aches and pains here and there I am just beyond thankful and so blessed to be carrying another child into this world!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're a great mom Stephie, hopefully that cold will go away in the next few days...

Thanks for reminding all of us that we are not celebrating Christmas yet... we are, indeed... waiting for Jesus to come!

And also, thank you for the new word...effleurage!