Today I am 37 weeks and 4 days along in this pregnancy. I can't believe how fast things have flown by. I have hardly had time to sit and think about what it really means that I will be having this baby - any day now! I've been so busy with my two busy-body toddlers, and preparing every needful thing for the arrival of this little one, and for Christmas. I want as much done as possible beforehand so I have time to just chill with my babe and not have to worry about food, or holiday planning, etc. Seriously though - when did I become a mother to such a brood? It seems like yesterday I was starting my first day at BYU.
I have a husband half-way through his last year of medical school and in the midst of interviewing for residency programs. *Brag moment aside: Squire got interview offers from every school he applied to!* :)
A spunky little girl (2 in December) who is certainly not a baby any more.
A goofy little boy (who will be 4 in February!) who makes me laugh (and sometimes cry) every day.
And soon - a brand new baby to shake up our routine and lives, in a really good and crazy sort of way!
I wanted to take some time to write a bit about this pregnancy before it is over, because if these last 6 years have flown by this fast, I'm pretty sure the next few weeks are going to pass before I can even think to blink.
Lots of people keep asking about names for the baby (we didn't find out the gender this time), but they are still pretty up in the air. We have one girl name we particularly like, but several others that could be chosen if that one doesn't match baby. And we have a pile of boy names and none of them have stuck with us both yet. We just have to know #1 Baby's gender. #2 Baby's look, personality and spirit. So no name for babe. I am getting excited to meet baby and know for sure whether baby is a boy or girl, though. I'm excited for that magical first moment of meeting. I know this little baby is strong and healthy and responsive to our voices and interactions with him or her. It will be great to see how this little one fits in with the dynamics of our family, and baby's gender will definitely play a role there, I'm sure. Squire and I are still thinking this one is a boy. Lincoln has decided now that he wants a brother and that baby IS a brother. Atley thinks baby will be a girl. What do YOU think? (Let me know in the comments section!)
Other things about this pregnancy:
Homebirth midwifery for prenatal care has been the best. thing. ever. I think I feel a lot more balanced this birth because the support from my midwife in my care has been so excellent. I truly feel we are friends. And it is so nice that she comes to my home for appointments. No wrangling kids to get to an office across town, or in that office across town. I love it.
I've also learned several things about general (and pregnancy/birth related) health that I have incorporated into my and my family's daily routine, about which I feel great. Culturing my own Kefir grains being just one of them. Green kefir smoothies, every day. Delicious!
I started this pregnancy at a lower weight than my other two pregnancies, and I exercised more consistently and longer than my other two. At this point, I just do some floor exercises and walking a couple of times a week. By about 30 weeks, my regular more intense exercise teetered off into the once a week range. Now, my exercise is just keeping my house tidy and chasing my kids around. I wanted to do more, more consistently, but this pregnancy - from about 20 weeks on or so - I have had a LOT of Braxton Hicks. They come often when I exercise, and when they get too strong or consistent, I know that is my cue to tone it down. So, I did. I am looking forward to regaining my pre-pregnancy body strength and form so that I can really move and breathe again.
My healthier eating and exercising habits this pregnancy have really paid off. My energy levels have been pretty great. I have slept very comfortably throughout this pregnancy. (Maybe I just have my pillow nest mastered after so much experience?) :) I have only had one or two days with a little sciatica which were alleviated with some exercises that my midwife shared with me. The few occasions of bad heart burn were alleviated by eating smaller meals. That said, things are starting to get a little awkward up in here. I really only like sitting in my rocking chair. Everything else makes me feel like I can't breathe, have a kink in my side, or pains my poor rear-end. But I really, really can't complain. This pregnancy has been truly beautiful and as easy on me as a pregnancy could be, I think. Definitely my most comfortable yet.
We can fit all three of our car seats in our jeep. (What a relief!) I'm glad we have been able to get the full use of our Chicco infant seat by getting three babies through it before its expiration date. And I'm glad we don't have to worry about getting another vehicle for at least 6 months or so.
Baby is currently posterior - just like little Atley was. But, I feel confident baby will turn. I'm doing my part (see http://www.spinningbabies.com if you want to learn more about turning babies - and www.Hypnobabies.com if you want to learn more about using hypnosis to help turn babies) to help that along, and I have a lot of peace about it.
At the 20 week ultrasound, the doctor saw that my placenta was close to my cervical opening. So, I wondered if partial/marginal Placenta Previa would dash my dreams of a home birth. But, we did another ultrasound just a few weeks ago and my placenta has shifted up with baby's growth (as it does 95% of the time.) My midwife wasn't concerned with the original finding. She said that is totally normal so early and that most of the time the placenta moves with the stretching uterus as baby grows larger. I felt pretty confident the placenta would move far enough away (or at least peaceful that what was right for our circumstances would happen), but still felt that release and relief when I found out with the confirmation ultrasound.
I think baby is a bit smaller than my other two were at this point. I think it may be my smallest yet - though, we'll see. My babies have been nothing to sneeze at (8lb. 13oz. and 9lb. 3oz.) Here's what baby looks like from the outside. Me at 37 weeks, 3 days:
Hypnobabies practice has been going wonderfully. I seriously have the best naps and sleep of my life listening to those tracks. You should see the drool on my pillow after each session. Kinda gross and TMI I'm sure. Sorry! Haha! I'm just a few days away from getting into my maintenance for the program. My hopes and dreams for this birth are set for a totally pain-free birth. I know it can happen. I'm excited to see how the environment at home compares, even to the birth center. I think it's going to be awesome.
Last Thursday, on my 37 week mark I started having some intense Braxton-Hicks. Some held tight for up to 7 minutes. They kept on rolling for about two hours. My body is really getting ready to have this baby, and SOON! I've been having a lot yesterday and today, too. I'm really hoping that this baby won't come until my mom and sisters get here on November 3rd. (Mind you, my guess date is November 6th.) I really want them to be here for the birth. If not, it will be ok - but a little disappointing, you know? So, unlike some (probably most!) who pray for their babies to come out early, I'm praying mine stays in. Please, pretty please, baby?!
Nesting progress and work yet to be done:
I've been nesting and I'm not done yet, which is another reason I want baby to stay inside a while longer! We had this really fun thing happen about a month ago. Our washing machine broke, and it was down for about 3 weeks before we got it repaired. Long story. In the process though, we learned how to wash our clothes by hand! (Yay for acquiring new prepper skills!) AND, how to produce less laundry by just wearing the same clothes every day for a week . . . or two. Haha! (I'm not kidding, though.) Needless to say, I've been doing laundry like a madwoman to get everything prepped for baby.
My house is generally pretty tidy these days, but it is also really dirty right now, too. So, Squire and I need to tackle that project together to get it in tip-top shape before baby comes. Side note: I finally found the secrets that help me keep my house tidy, at least. #1 ALWAYS getting at least a full load of dishes into the dishwasher and started before hitting the hay at night. And usually washing any big dishes by hand at night, too. And #2 Working with my kids every day to maintain their toys in their rooms (after going through and getting rid of lots of stuff, too.) **If you could school me on how to keep a house actually CLEAN and tidy - I'd love the tips!** At least tidy, I can maintain my mommy cool.
Plus, I'm trying to stock my freezer with meals to the max. I really don't want to have to cook. . . for like, 3 months or so. I got 4 loaves of sandwich bread, and a 6X batch of our favorite whole wheat banana muffins in the freezer on Saturday, a couple bags of split pea soup yesterday (thanks to Squire for cooking!), and hopefully 7+ quart size bags of sweet potato burrito filling after tonight. (Check our Hepworth Preparedness cookbook for recipes for all of these if you are interested.) AND - more to come this week. I've gotten some major shopping done for non-perishables done. I'm just hoping to get one more trip in to stock up our fresh fruits, veggies and dairy and eggs before baby comes.
My little old school Bernina has been working round the clock to help me get Halloween costumes, birthday and Christmas gifts done, and several other projects - and the end isn't yet in sight. A few more checks on my to-sew list would be ideal before baby comes, too.
What will be, will be.
But, in the end - with as much speculation and preparation as I put in - this birth will be what it will be and all will go as it should, and in God's timing, too. Oh baby. You're coming so fast. We're so excited. And anxious to have everything ready. And excited. Mostly just excited - to meet you! Lincoln and Atley talk about you and kiss you through my belly every day, you know that? They are looking forward to your arrival, too. You're really coming! You're almost here! Where did the time go?!
Thanks for taking the time to read my random rambling pregnancy post if you made it this far.
Please, take a guess at baby's gender in the comments section. You don't have much time to speculate before the truth is revealed to us all! This baby is coming - SOON!!! :)