|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!!!