It’s hard to believe I’m 38 weeks pregnant this week. Time crawled, and yet, it flew by. I am officially in month 9 of pregnancy and my due date is two weeks away. I’m feeling all the feels — excited, nervous, hopeful, tired, worried, joyful, anxious. We have a lot to do still but with Ben working so much and his job being soul sucking, it’s taking a lot longer than I wanted to have things completed. I told my dad the other day how nice it would be to have family nearby to come over and help. But alas, it’s just us and the dogs, making do.
I think I almost have everything purchased that we need. It is so crazy just how much we need. From baby stuff to the nursery and guest room and postpartum stuff to just stocking our fridge. Just so much. We haven’t made any meals to freeze yet so that is something we need to get done. Let’s hope baby doesn’t come too early! I still need to get the inside of the car detailed.
I’m at that point now where I do my best around the house but I’m starting to get pretty tired, and bending over to clean, organize, pick up after the dogs, etc. is just not as easy (as much as I’d like it to be) and is definitely uncomfortable now. I just had my last day of work on Sunday — I am so happy I made it to 37.5 weeks doing 12 hour shifts. For me that is quite the accomplishment – especially because I wake up at 4:20 am for work! My shifts are 6am-6:30pm, with a 30-40 minute commute each way. On the final day of work one of our psych NP’s came in and said, “YOU ARE STILL HERE? I saw your name on the schedule and was hoping we had a labor and delivery nurse on staff today juuuussstttt incase” My manager was a huge blessing for the last three months and put me on our less acute floor so that I would likely be free from encountering any difficult patients. This came in really handy for me, especially these final couple of weeks when I was really feeling the long 12 hour shifts! I am excited to officially be on leave until I am ready to go back. It feels like a weight has been lifted.
In other news – my body itself is doing okay. I have days of a lot of back pain here and there, but overall, I’ve been honestly doing very well. I’ve been seeing the chiropractor twice a week up until last week and now I see her once a week since we know baby girl has flipped head down finally. I believe she flipped a few days before our 34 week appointment based on her movement changes during that time. To help flip her, I started doing spinning babies moves and seeing a Webster certified chiropractor in week 31. I have also been pretty proactive about my supplements and natural medications this pregnancy to help with the health & wellness of both me and baby. Here is what I’m doing to help myself have a successful out of hospital natural birth:
- Prenatal Vitamins daily: Ritual (they have folate, iron and dha)
- Probiotics Daily: Garden of Life prenatal 20 billion, Jarrow Formulas 3.4 billion and I just started taking a 50 billion CFU probiotic from Garden of Life every other day as well.
- Magnesium Nightly: Magnesium Calm 2 Tsp
- Vitamin D3 Daily: Jarrow Formulas Vitamin d3 2500
- Collagen: Vital Proteins unflavored powder, 2 Scoops 5x a week in a smoothie or yogurt
- Started Week 36: Claraderm by Young Living spray once daily until postpartum
- Started Week 36: 6 dates per day until labor (Click to read about the benefits of dates on labor!)
- Started Week 35: Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, 1-2 cups per day until birth (prior to this, one cup here and there. Many women start much earlier with the tea– around 25-30 weeks).
Last week I got my first prenatal massage – that was amazing! I wish they were not so expensive! Holy moly. I also signed up for three sessions of acupuncture at my birth center starting tomorrow (Week 38) and each Thursday through my due date at the recommendation of one of my midwives. I had my last appointment with my doula last night to go over breastfeeding and more tips for labor and our game plan for the big day, etc.
Having a doula has been really great, as has taking the Mama Natural Birth Course and being a member of the Mama Natural Pregnancy FB group. It’s just nice having that extra support from other natural minded women. Ben has taken the birth course with me and has been 150% supportive of my desire for an out of hospital, natural birth. We are ultimately prepared for any outcome — a last minute hospital transfer, a c-section, whatever — but they say if you go in with a “I’m doing this natural, unmedicated, and my body was made for this” mindset, then you often succeed unless there is a true emergency. So that is the mindset I have been working on cultivating these last several months. We do what we can and we ask God to meet us halfway to give us the birth we desire. As for the unmedicated aspect — pain for a purpose! As my doula and birth course says. Our bodies were literally created to give birth. In a few short weeks, I’ll have my chance. So many things could go wrong with my “natural plan” – but I know a lot of things begin with the cascade of interventions. ie. being induced, getting an epidural, etc. can lead to more and more interventions. First time mama’s on average go over 41 weeks. I so hope that is not the case with us, but it’s the timing of the baby – and she will come when she is ready. I have until 42 weeks to deliver at my birth center before I risk out. We are all praying the baby will come on her own, healthily, before then. My gut says she will. We’ll see.
Pregnancy has been a wild ride but surprisingly it was much harder in the beginning than I ever thought — and much easier the rest of the pregnancy than I ever thought. I know I have been blessed with a good pregnancy, and for that I am thankful. I am lucky I get to do all of these things – chiropractor, acupuncture, etc. and blessed that I have a husband who was okay with us taking a big pay cut for me to only have to work 6-7 times a month. That’s been a real big blessing. Ben has always been really supportive of my desire to spend more time at home with pregnancy, baby and the dogs – and he works sooooo hard to make that possible. Endlessly, really. Speaking of Ben – his last day of work as a prosecutor is Monday the 5th. He will then be an independent contractor lawyer – and will work from home. This is a huge answer to our prayers. Because of this new career opportunity for Ben we will not have to hire a nanny or send baby to daycare but rather on the days that I do work (my schedule is 100% flexible – I choose my days), Ben will be able to stay home with our little girl. This means we will not have to adhere to the strict vaccination schedule that daycares around here require, and we will be able to vaccinate per our own schedule. Me, baby and the dogs will have him working from home and he’ll have a better work-life balance. No more working weekends and evenings, no more all day court appearances. He will be so much more present, while working on cases he enjoys, and for that we are so thankful!
Here are some pictures of these final weeks of pregnancy – I can’t believe we are two weeks away from meeting our little girl.