36 weeks 5 days: A few thoughts and some news

It became more real last night.

I’ve been having some cramping.  Just light cramping, but cramping nonetheless.  I had a midwife appointment on Monday, and she was very pleased about this.

Last night I texted her to ask if I could use a heat pack to help with the cramping.  She said “Absolutely” and then asked what the cramps were like.  When I told her, this was her response: “Ok.  That sounds very positive.  Your body knows what it needs to do.  Good idea to have a thick towel under your side of the bed just in case.  Contact me if you’re worried.”  

Wow.  This could happen soon.  Really soon.  Or not.  But maybe.  Either way, I will get to meet my son in a month or less.  Amazing.

So, I’m preparing my heart, mind, and house for our little one.  I feel ready.  If it happens today or this weekend or next week or in 3 weeks, I feel as ready as I’ll ever be to tackle labor and do it.  

We have picked a name (I think).  Our house is getting somewhat clean and organised (and we have a plan for doing so to the bits that are still a mess).  I have my labor bag packed and the babies’ bag packed.  We are ready enough for him to arrive.

In other news, my niece was born last week!  She looks so much like my little brother did as a baby.  She is sweet and beautiful, and it makes it so much more real that I will have a little man outside my body soon.  I wonder what he’ll look like?  

So, I will keep you posted.  I don’t have another mw appointment until next weekend, and until then I’m going to try to get all my beauty things done (hair cut, pedicure) and relax in between nesting.  

Hope you all have a wonderful new years!

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Merry Christmas!

Photo credit: Capturedmiracles.org

I’m sitting here before my husband wakes up drinking eggnog and listening to a Christmas station on Pandora.  Christmas is wonderful.  I haven’t felt like it’s Christmas this year, but I think I’ve been a bit distracted with someone else, admittedly.  How thankful I am that Jesus came…that He came and knew why He was coming…and that He still thought it was worth it…that I was worth it (and you and my son and my husband and family).  Wow.  We have much to be thankful for.

I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re going through that you have a great Christmas day.  Merry Christmas!

Labour Prep

As I approach full term pregnancy (!!), there are a few things I’m doing to prepare my body for labour and the baby.  

Dates.  I read on Mama Natural’s blog that there is research stating that women who ate dates a month before their due date dilated and delivered easier with out induction.  I thought, why not give it a go?  So, I’ve been eating 6 dates a day.

Pregnancy Tea. I took the recipe off of a natural birth and varied it slightly.  The tea contains raspberry leaf, nettle, alfalfa, and peppermint.  These help tone the uterus, cleanse the liver, and provide extra nutrients.  To read more, click the link above and read her post on the tea. I’m currently drinking 1 cup a day and will probably kick it up to 2 cups next week.

Perennial prep massage.  I’ve started this with my husband this week.  I recommend having a partner to do this for you, as it is very difficult to reach around a pregnant belly to get to where you need to go.  Basically, the perenium is the area between your vagina and bum, and this is the area that is likely to tear during labour.  In order to avoid this, my husband is helping me stretch it.  You start with two fingers, insert them into the base of the vagina and press down until a burning sensation is felt.  Keep this held down until the sensation goes away.  Repeat it 3 times per day.  Eventually, you build up to 4 fingers.  This is also helping me get ready mentally, because there’s a part of me that’s thinking “4 fingers?!  Aaaah!” and yet I know that the baby’s head will probably be quite a bit bigger than 4 fingers haha.

Journalling about my fears.  I did this the other morning.  It probably took about 2 hours, but I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.  It didn’t completely eradicate my fears, but it helped me know that clinging to God’s promises and giving Him all my fears are going to make all the difference.  I used passionate homemaking‘s suggestions from this post.  I’m also going to follow her advice on preparing my heart for motherhood in the next few weeks.

Writing down Scriptures.  I’ve started compiling a list of promises and passages from the Bible that I can cling to and have around me during labour.  I know I will need to cling to this as I’m in pain and getting to the birth of my baby.

If you’re expecting a baby, what are you doing to prepare?  If you’ve had a baby, what kinds of things did you do that you found helpful when you arrived at labour?  

 

And now, an update: (Almost) 35 weeks

Thank you to everyone who has been praying about my shingles.  I’m so glad to tell you that the rash is in the healing stage.  I’m not getting the sharp stinging pain that I was before.  Now it’s a bit itchy and I get minor pains, but it’s manageable.  

After sitting on the couch all week literally doing nothing but reading and watching television while my husband took care of me, I am ready to get up and nest!  There is so much to be done, and I feel behind on all that needs to be accomplished.  I’m trying not to stress, though, because I know even if it doesn’t all get done, it will eventually.  Plus, what really matters is that Baby boy is healthy and that I’m healthy when all is said and done.

In other news, we got our maternity photos done yesterday!  One of my friends took the photos, so even though they’re not professionally done, I’m hoping they turn out nice.  She dabbles in photography as a hobby and when I asked if she would do our photos, she was thrilled for the opportunity and practise.  I can’t wait to see them and share them with you.

I had a midwife appointment on Friday, and baby boy is so healthy.  He is head down and starting to engage, he is anterior (the best position for birth), and he was very active to the student midwife when she was trying to figure out his position (this made me laugh, because she couldn’t figure out how he was lying for awhile since he wouldn’t stop squirming.  I told her he was “having a go” at her).  His heartbeat was strong.  So sweet to know he’s well even when I haven’t been this week.  I have another appointment in two weeks, and then the appointments go to every week!  I’ll be full term then!  Wow.  

Other than that, we’re just doing our best to get ready and enjoy the time we have left with just the two of us.  Hubby is done with school now until February (wooooo!), so we can really get going on the nursery.  It’s a disaster zone right now, so having his help to set it up will be lovely.  I can hardly wait.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Look for the helpers

 

‎”When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” 
~ Mister Rogers

The Skeptical Mother posted this quote on facebook in light of the shootings in Connecticut.  May our thoughts and prayers go to all those whose lives have changed by this tragic event, but may we also join Mister Rogers in knowing that there is still good in people and the world.

After pregnancy

Things I’m looking forward to after pregnancy:

Painting my toenails

Shaving every bit of my leg

Drinking some wine with dinner

Having pants that button (fitting into my former jeans)

Sleeping on my back and any other way I want

Eating over easy eggs

Having normal ankles and feet!

Standing for more than 10 minutes at a time with out feeling faint.

Dying my hair!

Wearing my wedding rings again!

Good sex

What I’ll miss about being pregnant:

Baby kicks and movements in my tummy

My growing tummy (for an acceptable reason haha)

The smiles people give me when they realise

Seeing my midwife so much

Being me and my hubby-kid free. A chapter is closing.

Any to add?

Shingles

Friday, I had to take my mother in law to the airport.  Hubby was working, so it was a roadtrip with her and then by myself on the way home.  This wasn’t a problem, but I noticed on the way home I was getting a sharp stabbing pain in my upper shoulder and above my breast on the same side.  It got worse as the day went on, and I had no idea why.  Well, Saturday morning I woke up to have a slight rash in both the areas.  I happened to see my midwife at a birthday party of a mutual friend that day, and she had a look at it.  I thought it was PUPPS, but she said it was probably shingles.  As the weekend went on, I was sure she was right.  

Today I went to the GP who officially diagnosed it as shingles.  It’s now turned into a blistering, itchy, and slightly painful rash.  I can’t wait until the blisters burst, because that will bring some relief, I think (and hope and pray).  Thank the Lord there is no risk to the baby for me to have shingles.  There is a risk to my husband, though.  He grew up in Granada (until he was 10) and didn’t have chicken pox as a child.  He has had the vaccine, but I’m still a little concerned that he could contract it.  So, I’ve been sleeping on the couch and we’ve been keeping our distance as much as we can.  Hopefully that does the trick.

I was prescribed an antiviral medication to take to speed things up, but I think I’ve decided against taking it.  Shingles runs its course whether you take the meds or not, and this late in my pregnancy, I feel it’s more of a risk to the baby than I want to take.  So, a few more days (hopefully) and it will run its course.

I’ve also lost my appetite a bit today.  Nothing tastes right, and when I eat, I feel like I might throw it up.  Hopefully I’m eating enough for bub.  I’m eating all I can stomach.  

Anyway, hope none of you get this!  I feel like an old lady, but at least the baby will get antibodies from it and I won’t have to have it again when I am an old lady (most likely). 

 

33 weeks: Christmas, postpartum prep, and trouble with names

I don’t have much to update you for 33 weeks, because I pretty much told you the drama of it in my last post.  

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Christmas is in 3 weeks.  Whoa.  Christmas is so so different here in Australia.  What I miss most is hearing Christmas music everywhere and being able to listen to it on the radio.  The radio stations don’t play it here!  So sad.  Also, it’s summer…so in America you have Christmas and then summer is a whole other event…here it’s summer and Christmas and then in winter there’s just nothing happening.  Sad.  One thing that did make me feel better was a post that Robin Jones Gunn made this morning about her 2nd Christmas in Hawaii.  She didn’t seem sad and upset like I do every year on Christmas over here, she just makes the best of it and molds her traditions around making new Hawaiian traditions.  I want to become more upbeat about Christmas over here and establish new Aussie traditions that we can feel a bit more at home about.

I got my Christmas decorations out the other day only to realise that most of them are ornaments, and this year we don’t have a tree.  So, I did what I could to Christmas up our place, but I’d like to do a lot more.  It’s okay, though, because we are saving money for the baby, and that is my true focus this year.  I have washed all his clothes and organised them by size.  I have washed his 10 or so baby blankets that we received at the shower and organised them by season, and I have started packing his bag for the birth (which will be at my midwife’s house).  I still have a lot left to do, but I’m waiting for hubby to be done with school (after next week) so he can help me lift things up and store things away that need to get out of the way before we can truly organise and arrange little man’s room.  

This week has been spent very busily doing what needs to be done to get ready.  I made some postpartum maternity pads (will do a separate post on that) and wrote out some of my fear feelings about being a parent (very helpful just to get it out and see what’s actually true, btw).  I’ve been looking at names again, but I have no idea what we’re going to name this baby.  

Anyway, that’s my week in a nutshell.  Sorry it’s not more exciting, but hopefully I can do a few more posts in the coming weeks about certain things I’m doing to prepare and get ready.  Plus, we have maternity photos coming up!  

Hope you all have had a great week!