36 Weeks, 5 Days: Engagement, Birth Pool, and Thanksgiving

Time is kinda flying by now.  And standing still.   I vacillate between wanting the baby to come RIGHT NOW and wanting to hold off until everything is “ready” (which will never really happen).

Our midwives visited Wednesday, and will come at least once a week from now until Baby arrives- it’s the big time now!  Everything was good:

  • I’ll get the ridiculous one over with right away… Our midwife took her shoes off at the front door! 🙂  Not sure if it was the fun sign I posted or the millions of shoes in the entryway, but it worked and I was relieved.  Even more so when she put them back on and I noticed they were really dirty, leaving dirt clods everywhere.  What cracked me and my husband up was that she somehow bypassed the huge tiled hallway space available and had her feet on the carpet while putting on her dirty shoes!  We waited until they pulled out of the driveway and then my husband had to vacuum that spot.  It’s ok, though.  At least she didn’t track that all through the house!  I feel a tad more respected now 🙂

  • Baby has dropped!  That’s right, we’re in a GREAT position and engaged at about zero station.  I couldn’t really tell from looking at my belly or anything, but I guess I am having a little better time breathing during those nighttime Braxton Hicks.  And someone at church last week did comment  that I was carrying super low.  Our midwife told me that Baby could descend further at this point, into +1 or +2 station (or is that the other way around at -1 or -2?….), but then I’d just be super uncomfortable for the last month of pregnancy, so the way things are now are really the best we could ask for.  Did my chiropractic visits help this happen?  I guess we’ll never know, but they couldn’t have hurt.  My pelvis is getting looser and I’m going longer between visits now.  My round ligament is still tight and I can kinda tell because Baby has begun to punch it- ouch!
  • We got our birth pool!!!  Yay!  The mom who was “in line”  to use it before us gave birth the day before they came, so it worked out perfectly.  We had to blow it up to finish drying it out, so we got a good look at it.  It looks so nice and I’m excited that I get to birth in it if I want to!

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  • Everything is good with me and the baby.  My midwife mentioned fluid intake again, but said she isn’t worried.  I told her I’ve been making sure I get at least a minimum of 8 cups/day (although I think I should be drinking more and probably actually am). I drink half my water at night because every time I get up to pee (every 1-2.5 hours) I feel so thirsty!   The only reason she mentions it is that she can easily see from the outside of my tummy how the baby is lying, especially when I’m contracting.  I wonder though if part of that is just that I have no fat layer to smooth things out?  It’s just skin, uterus, baby.  Anyway, I’m sure she has had moms like me before, so I’ll just keep paying close attention to my fluid intake and trust her that everything is fine.
  • We talked about some other stuff (our midwife really likes to talk in long-winded paragraphs- hopefully she knows how to shut it when I’m in labor 🙂 ), including the newborn screening test.  My husband thinks we should do it.  The only negatives: heel poke, extra $98 cost, and the possibility of false positives.  The last negative is the only one I really don’t like, but I guess we’re going to do it, and I’m fine with that.  The only thing we have to decide is whether we want our midwife to do it or a pediatrician.  I don’t really want to have to take the baby out to a doctor in those first few weeks, but my husband  thinks insurance may cover the test if we do.  The whole pediatrician thing is something we still need to decide on, though- do we want to establish a relationship with one right away or wait until/if Baby actually needs to see one?  I’m not feeling like a huge fan of pediatricians right now, but we do have some recommendations for some non-traditional options.  I just need to check them out.
  • We showed our midwife the birth plan we wrote, and she seemed really happy that we wrote one (which made me feel relieved because I was feeling kinda anxious about it, for some odd reason).  She read through it and talked about each point.  She had a few minor suggestions (if I transferred to a hospital for a cesarean, for example, I’d probably have a spinal instead of an epidural), but for the most part I didn’t change anything.  Most of what she said was explaining how she agreed with what we’d written (her particular biases are against  induction, separation of mom and baby, and… one other one that I can’t remember) and would never do anything differently, which is what I’d figured.  She took awhile with her explanations, and the whole visit lasted about 2 hours instead of 1!
  • Both midwives keep telling us that they don’t think my labor will be very long.  Their reasons are they that think we have a great attitude and a particularly healthy pregnancy.  They see that we don’t expect it to be easy (we know it will be hard work and will probably hurt), but we also are relaxed about it.  I appreciate the vote of confidence 🙂
  • I haven’t had any internal checks my whole pregnancy, but our midwife told us that my husband or I could check me if we want- both to feel the baby’s head and check for cervical dilation- and she described what to look for.  I can VERY easily feel Baby’s head through my vaginal wall, near my pubic bone!!!  It is the coolest thing ever, and also crazy weird.  It really made me feel like Baby is so close to our outside world and helped me picture how birth will happen.  Try as I might, though, I couldn’t reach my cervix.  I guess that means it’s still very high and posterior.  Apparently it does that during pregnancy to protect itself and will then move down/anterior closer to delivery.  I never knew that before.  I’ll maybe try to find it again in a week, just out of curiosity, though I know that being dilated or not dilated at this point will really be no indication of when labor is to begin.  I used to to cervical self-checks all the time when we were TTC.  After I got pregnant, I did feel my cervix once and was shocked at how different it felt- not nose-like anymore, but gushy like puckered lips!  I was a little taken aback.  It was also very high and I could barely reach it (pre-pregnancy my cervix was always very low and super easy to find- right where the baby’s head is felt now, actually!).  I think that was first trimester.  During second trimester I looked for it once again and couldn’t reach it.  Anyway, maybe my husband would be able to check since he wouldn’t also have to do contortions around a huge belly, but he surprisingly declined and thought it would be “weird”, saying maybe another day….  Ok, whatever.

For Thanksgiving we went to my husband’s brother’s house.  I felt soooo out of it all day!  Just super sleepy and tired, and couldn’t figure out why.  I felt badly for not being very sociable or helpful.  My niece kept wanting me to play with her and I did, but then I’d have to take a break to sit in a chair with a back.  I felt so zoned out.  I actually took about a 2 hour nap in their guest room after lunch while everyone else watched the football game (which didn’t interest me at all).  Anyway, during the night my throat felt super dry and scratchy, and the next morning (yesterday) I woke up coughing weirdly and feeling rather sick.  So I guess that explains my extreme tiredness.  I also hadn’t taken all my vitamins the day before, and as soon as I took them yesterday and drank my tea, I magically felt sooo much better!  It was like some kind of miracle cure.  I actually feel quite normal and well today, but I still stayed home from church because I was so tired this morning I couldn’t seem to wake myself up enough to know if I was well or not.  I feel like such a lazy bum for staying home, but maybe it’s good that I did.  I might take a nap in a few minutes.  I couldn’t sleep again last night and can’t wait for my next chiro adjustment on Monday so I can zonk out before 2 am…..

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. laughingpromises
    Nov 24, 2012 @ 18:36:08

    You’re getting so close! I am so very excited for you and your husband and praying that everything goes so smoothly during labour and after the baby is born. Looks like you’re getting very good preparation. 🙂

    Reply

  2. the heart & art
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 00:09:02

    thank you for taking interest in my blog! i just had the chance to look at yours and i find it very inspiring. i am a sorta-crunchy mama who completed the hypnobirthing course. i planned on a water birth but ended up delivering via c-section because of placenta previa 😦 i struggled with breastfeeding and soothing a severely colic/ reflux baby. i practice attachment parenting, but received criticism for my attempts to do things as natural and instinctual as possible. still, there were things i didn’t stick to guts with. as a result my baby and i suffered because of it (i.e. introducing a bottle too early, supplementing w/ formula due to baby’s “slight” weight loss). anyway, i am daydreaming vicariously through your writing and pictures. your plans for a natural home birth is rare these days, and i appreciate your attempts to empower woman to be educated about what amazing things their bodies were designed to do. congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck! you’re at the home stretch 🙂

    Reply

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