38 weeks

I am thinking this will be my last post before Ollie arrives.

It’s nuts to think he could really be here at any time.  Two Sundays from now is Tim’s birthday and also Ollie’s due date–so the longest I’d have to wait to meet him is four weeks, if I go 2 weeks over. I’ve felt like he may come early for a long time for a few reasons, because I’ve been contracting so much since around week 24. I don’t think this is wishful thinking, since I’m enjoying the pregnancy so much and I’d also like to spend as much time as possible savoring time with Tim as just two of us. I am probably a minority when I say I’d be happy to be pregnant for another month or two…maybe as long as I didn’t keep getting bigger.  Either way, Tim and I will post soon after he arrives. :)

We feel as ready as we can be for the babe. His nursery is done, and we are grateful to say we have almost everything we need for him (other than incidental items I’m sure we’ll think of when we get home from the birth center). People have been so generous. We really only had to buy the crib. Everything else was covered between family, gifts from showers, and “donations” from friends whose kids outgrew their stuff.  My “hospital” bag is all packed (has been for a while). We have our frozen meal at the birth center (they discharge early, so we get to bring our own food to eat after the delivery). Tim is putting the carseat in the car tomorrow, and we are having our house deep cleaned, a gracious donation from a vendor at work. The doula is on call, and I’ve got a crap ton of popsicles in the freezer just in case I want them during labor.

So I think we’ve done what we can to prepare ourselves. Lots of books, documentaries, classes, and conversations with friends who have done this before, my doula, and the midwives. I’m thankful to say I am not experiencing anxiety about labor and birth. I don’t see any reason to be. I just want to show up and be present through it, trusting my body knows what to do and getting out of its way. I don’t know if I am being naive, but I just don’t think nervousness will help. I’m focusing now on breathing deeply and exercising a little more control over my self-talk now. I do believe the chiropractic & reading I’ve done will help, but I know I won’t be thinking of those things during labor. I’ve heard for the majority of labor women are in another world, using their “primal” back brain to just survive through the rough parts. Maybe survive isn’t the best word. What I’m trying to say is I think logic goes out the window. I won’t be referencing the notes I’ve taken in my journal or the worksheets from my birth classes. It’s not something I can plan out or control. In the end I am just trusting God made me to do this and He will guide me through it, giving me grace for each moment.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on the spiritual and emotional aspect of labor after I go through it, but from what reading I’ve done, I see so much of God’s design in it. The way the pain and intensity are merely means to a more beautiful end, the way He gives opportunities to rest between each contraction, the way we can mentally choose to be present and engage with the pain rather than being afraid of it and making it worse. I’m sort of looking forward to the mental and physical challenge of it. God’s design is perfect.

As Ina May Gaskin says, “My body is not a lemon. I am not a machine. The creator is not a careless mechanic.”

Tim and I are super thankful for all your love and care for us and Ollie in this season. We would be delighted to have you pray for us as Ollie’s birth draws near, that God would sustain us and draw us to Himself through it, giving grace & strength for each step, and that, of course, we’d reap the spoils of a healthy baby and healthy mama. Trusting Jesus with you!

How far along? 38 weeks on the nose
Baby is the size of a: Watermelon!
Total weight gain: 35. At this point, may as well embrace it. It’ll be nice to lose the immediate 10-15 lbs right after he’s born. Not sure how I’ll go about the rest…maybe I’ll sweat it all out this summer. I feel like women pregnant through the winter probably gain more. Less opportunity to get out & be active and lots of opportunities to eat a ton!!
Maternity clothes? Pretty much down to 2 outfits. Stretchy maxi dress & maxi skirt. Feet are swelling now too, so shoes are getting kinda tight.
Sleep:  Up and down. Peeing a lot, waking up really warm, and just thinking about labor & baby. Taking naps when I can, which helps!
Best moment this week: There were many! My co-workers threw me a surprise shower, which took the cake. We got a high chair and a video monitor, and there were lots of unhealthy but delicious treats! I found out at the birth center I am pretty effaced and starting to dilate, which was good to know–like to hear that I’m progressing. Today was awesome too. Beautiful weather and Easter brunch with friends. Lots of time spent outside.
Movement: Yes. His back and butt are center stage. A lot lower than before–he’s definitely dropped!!
Food cravings: Clementines. I had almost a whole bag in one weekend. Also still donuts unfortunately, and any kind of fried dough. :( Arugula and grapefruit juice. Cherry tomatoes. Kombucha. Iced tea. Pickled beets. Really any beets.  Anything cold and sour.
Miss Anything? The convenience of eating lunch meat without heating it up and the occasional craft cocktail when out to eat.
Symptoms:  Mr. Ollie is head down, which is awesome, but he is also hanging out very low in my pelvis. The other week I felt really sharp nerve pain in my groin when I sat down. So I got on all fours and did some inversions, and he moved over to the left, causing the same pain on that side. So I’m pretty sure his head is grinding on some nerves. Only thing that helps is literally lifting my belly up off my lap. Other than that, it’s getting tougher to get in and out of bed, go up stairs, and bend over, but those things aren’t a big deal to me.
Mood? Wound up and energetic. 7:30 pm? Not normal for me.
Looking forward to: The obvious. This baby is a total mystery to me. Can’t wait to discover him.

 

Looks like the baby dropped to me. The pic on the right is 37 weeks.
Looks like baby dropped! The pic on the right is 37 weeks.

 

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