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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

39 weeks, 2 days and counting....

I am so excited for this baby to come that I am thinking thoughts like, "I wonder if I just dumped a bucket of warm water on my legs if it would fool my uterus into thinking my water broke and would get things started already!" Okay, maybe not that extreme. Trying so hard not to think about something only results in one thing, thinking about it all the time. Last night I finally came to the peaceful revelation that this baby IS going to come sometime within the next 3 weeks. I mean, by then I would be two weeks overdue and that is the longest my OB is willing to let me go, so, there it end in site.
Then I ask myself, what is my big rush for this pregnancy to be over? Most likely, this will be my last, so I should be savoring every last minute! I may never experience the kicking and rolling, the baby hiccups, and the overwhelming pregnancy emotions again. It really is a precious thing, and I do cherish it. Then again, I will be thrilled when my legs quit spontaneously jerking when I am trying to go to sleep, when I don't have to safeguard my belly from the charging heads of my toddlers as they try to hug me, when I can pick up my children safely without risking back or belly injury, when I can sit on the toilet without feeling like my cervix might explode from pressure, and when the constant dull, aching rib pain stops. I am also LONGING to hold this precious baby in my arms! And last but not least, I am really curious to know what the sex of this little life is!
Tomorrow is my weekly OB appointment, and I am excited to find out if I have made any progress in the last week with all the "fake" labor I have experienced. We shall see! I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Plague of Anticipation

Is waiting for labor to begin sort of like waiting to meet the perfect guy when you are single?

I remember the single days. People always said, "you'll find your husband when just aren't looking!" I felt like I wanted to scream everytime someone said that to me. It sounded so cliche. I was convinced that meant I would NEVER find my soulmate because obviously I was ALWAYS looking!
It is funny because I did meet my husband when I really wasn't looking. I had started to date this other guy for just a few weeks, and he was simply sending me mixed messages. I was pretty consumed with overanalyzing that situation when I was introduced to Tom. I remember thinking, "why do I meet someone this nice when I already am interested in someone else?" Well, one date later and the other guy was history. I saw immediately what a gem I had found and was not about to let Tom go!
Anyway, the point is, I feel like when I am sitting around wondering WHEN labor is going to start means it probably never will! I am sure it will hit when I least expect it. Yesterday, I had so many strange pains accompanied by braxton hicks all day long that I felt pretty miserable and pretty convinced labor was going to start at any moment. The more I let myself think about it, the more I tried not to, the more emotional I felt. It was an endless exhausting process, and I was wishing it would just either start or not so I could get over it! Counting every single little contraction would drive me crazy, so I was attempting to ignore them. My mind was very aware of every little thing though and by the end of the day I passed out in exhaustion at 8 pm.
Today, I took a new approach. The distraction approach. It worked pretty well! I took a trip to Savannah with a girlfriend and went shopping. Found some really good deals too! Yes, I actually drove an hour away with my two small children and had fun just to distract myself. It probably was a crazy decision, considering the day I had yesterday! I just figured it was better than sitting around at home all day wondering WHEN this is all going to start.
I am not in a rush at this point for labor to begin. I am only 38 weeks and wouldn't mind being 40 weeks for the sake of the baby! It is just the point that it COULD start at anytime that leaves me in a constant state of anticipation and excitement. I mean, seriously, any little twinge and I think "oh! it's got to be my cervix dilating already!" That could drive a person bonkers!
So, the name of the game is distraction at this point before I get admitted to a loony bin. I'll take any great suggestions, but I don't think I will be traveling an hour away again "just in case!"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wonderfully Made

I believe we have found the perfect doula for the birth of our baby! Thanks to all the wonderful recommendations that came flooding in, I contacted Rachel Kolumber to see if she is currently taking clients. We had our first meeting Sunday afternoon, and it went extremely well! I believe her involvement will be invaluable for my delivery process. Her additional support combined with the right nurse and my wonderful OB Dr. Hiller, I believe will make all the difference for me.

I do not feel afraid anymore. I am in the process of reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and have felt myself relax more and more the further I get into the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently pregnant! It has opened my eyes to a more confident and
fearless approach to labor. It is written in a loving and gentle way and is making me truly appreciate the wonders of the female body. We truly are created by a mastermind, a Holy God.

Psalms 139:14 states "I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." I have read this verse a million times in my life, but the other night when I read it, it was as if I had just read it for the very first time! I believe it is to be my focal point in labor. This verse has become a very important verse for this pregnancy and child. I am praying it as a blessing over this baby's life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Pursuit of a Diva Doula

What do ya mean, a Doula???

With this being my third baby, you would think I would be an old pro at delivering a baby! Well, I am- that is, if you are talking about delivering with a stellar epidural, a good amount of pitocin, and being strapped to a monitor on my back for the duration. I am also familiar with the stress the pitocin seemed to cause on the heartrate of my baby, the subsequential threat of a c-section, an internal fetal scalp monitor (ouch!) and ultimately a vaccuum extraction (ie. a really bruised and cone shaped baby scalp). I am reallly good at all of that!

When I was preparing for delivery with my eldest child, my darling son Will, I was determined to go the au natural route. My husband and I attended lamaze together, refused to be induced until I was officially postterm and were very staunchly against the use of an epidural. All that went out the window as my due date came and went and in the end one intervention led to another in Will's birth. All my planning and dreams of how I wanted things to go went out the window in my attempts to have what we all truly desire, a healthy baby. I told myself not to look back with regrets and I still don't. I just wonder what would have happened if I had held out for a few more days. I did the best I could with the knowledge we had, and my wonderfully supportive doctor did as well, so we moved on.
With Natalie, I didn't even try to dream about anything different. I guess I gave up on my ideal. I figured if I thought about it too much and planned for a certain ideal, then things would certainly go the opposite of what I wanted. You know the old saying, "the bread always falls with the butter side down". As a nurse, I always noticed that the people with all the ideals ended up the ones that were disappointed.
Due to some family logistics (ie. travel plans), I went ahead and scheduled an induction before Natalie was even due. Everything went smoothly, quickly and without too much of a hitch. She did have some heart rate decelerations from the strength of the contractions that concerned them and she ended up with a fetal scalp monitor which I really didn't want. I remember thinking, "why did I decide on this induction again?"
You might ask me how I made it to 37 weeks pregnant without thinking about this again? I have thought about it some, but just never established a true plan. I told my mom that I didn't want anyone to make travel plans until I was in labor. Besides that, I just figured I would try to go natural but have an epidural if necessary. Let's be honest. We all know how that plan would have ended up.
Last week, I decided I better have a better birth plan than that! If I want to have options, I need to decide what I really want in order to be ready to advocate for what I really want.
I just finished reading Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake, and boy did it make me think! Seriously, it is such a good book and has opened my eyes to how much I have buried the dream I let go of in my first delivery. So, here I am, at the end of my pregnancy, wishing for a home tub birth! Okay, maybe not that extreme for me. I am an NICU nurse for goodness sake, and think I would be too scared to really try that even though I know it has been a wonderful experience for many people. Truthfully, I don't want to have my toddlers rushing into my bedroom an hour after I give birth asking me to get them some juice or milk! I kind of see the hospital as a vacation from parenting!!
But, I definately want to be surrounded by support for a completely natural birth. No discouragement allowed! All this meaning I would really love to find a doula to help me (and my husband) through the times I know I will inevitably be shouting "just give me an epidural!!!"
Tomorrow, I will be sharing my plans and hopes with my obstetrician, and from what I have heard I expect him to be fully supportive. I also am officially placing phone calls in search of a doula and praying that God leads me to the right person.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Some 37 week Belly Pics

"Mommy, WHY is your belly THAT big?!!!" Will was quite concerned about the size of my growing belly. He understands there is a baby inside, but I don't think he had really noticed how large I truly am until today!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Nursery Nest

After all of my obsessing and nesting, things are finally coming together. Here is a few pictures of what the nursery looks like. We borrowed this crib so that we wouldn't have to move Natalie out of her crib yet. What a relief. I did not want to be chasing a 22 month old around the house at bedtime when we bring home a newborn. We made that mistake with Will and have decided Natalie can stay in her crib until she is 3 if need be.
I found the perfect mirror to go above the red dresser and fell in love with it immediately. I never dreamed I'd find a neutral nursery that I liked as well as my girl/boy nurseries, but I really love this bedding by Cocalo Couture. I have a few more wall hangings to frame and hang. Now, I am just obsessing over the perfect hamper/canvas bin to go with the decor of the room. Hopefully I will find something I like, but the realization came to me this week that it really isn't the end of the world if the baby arrives and we don't have a hamper yet! The bed will eventually be Natalie's when we switch everything around. As I mentioned before, we will wait a little while longer for that hurdle!
Here's to a smooth transition when baby P arrives!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

36 and Counting

How does it feel to be 36 weeks pregnant?
It is so easy to forget this stage of pregnancy. I remembered so well the morning sickness of the first trimester, the energy and excitement of the second trimester and the frantic planning and nesting of the third trimester. But my memories of the last 4 weeks of pregnancy have become a blur of memories. All I really remembered until now is anxiously waiting for that baby to arrive and how time seemed to slow way down. Now that I have arrived at 36 weeks, I remember "why" I was so anxious for Will and Natalie to deliver.
1. my gigantic granny panty underwear that were swimming on me only 4 weeks ago no longer cover my rear end. I have a perpetual wedgie. How big does that mean my tush is getting?

2. If I try to bend over to pick up anything I feel strangled and unable to breathe while simultaneously getting sharp jabs from the inside reminding me that I am probably squashing the daylights out of my darling baby as well. Neither of us seem to fond of the process!

3. Suddenly, every situation seems worthy of tears. I mean, ALL coping abilities have taken a hiatus while the horomones have ravaged my body.

4. It feels as though my house will never be clean again. (see number 2) And cleaning a bathtub sounds like a rare form of torture.

5. All I think about is having the baby so that my mom can come help me. Seriously, there are times when only a mother can help!

6. Choosing an outfit for the day is a 30 minute process, because it is extremely difficult to find anything that will cover my belly and a pair of pants that will stay up and not expose the granny panty situation described in number 1.

7. My nesting urge has taken over my brain and mega important things such as finding a coordinating hamper for the babies room are all I want to talk or think about. I am confident that my friends find these conversations as thrilling as I do.

8. My goals of not reaching 198 pounds for the third time in a row are slipping out of my grasp as I see my body headed for that delivery weight set point once again! Seriously, what is with that number? It doesn't matter what my prepregnancy weight was. It is where I always end up.

9. I am pretty sure my husband thinks the phrase, "hold on a minute, I am having a contraction" is just an excuse for getting out of something I don't want to do.

10. My ribs hurt.

I am trying to cherish this pregnancy as it will most likely be my last. When I think of it in those terms, I am sad. I don't want to rush into this delivery, and I would really like all my delivery goals to be accomplished in this final delivery. I will share more about that subject tomorrow! But in the meantime, I feel as big as a barn door and am getting very excited to meet this little life inside of me! Especially to find out exactly if it is a "he" or a "she".
Here's to the last 4 weeks!