Saturday, June 30, 2012

Full Term

On Thursday I hit the 37 week mark.  It is such a relief!  37 weeks is considered Full Term when the lungs are fully developed and she can survive well outside the womb without needing extra medical attention.  Certainly if she had been born a little earlier it would not likely have been life threatening.  But 37 to 42 weeks is the low risk window that I had to make it into in order to give birth at the birth center.  And we MADE IT!!!!

It was a bumpy ride the last few weeks as Caitlyn fully dropped quite early and my cervix was definitely starting to ripen.  I also have what is apparently an extremely active uterus.  I've been having braxton hicks contractions daily for nearly a month now and a few times they have gotten carried away.    BH contractions by themselves are not an indication of labor but they do prepare your body for labor and if they start to become more rhythmic and close together they can lead into labor.  I learned at the advice of my caregivers that the best way to control these if they feel like they are headed in that direction is to take a warm bath along with having a few ounces of wine.  I had to resort to this a couple of times and happily it worked like a charm.

It's so nice to be able to relax now and not worry about what is going on with the contractions or where they are headed.  Yesterday was my 37 week check up and I had contractions for several hours leading up to the appointment.  I started to think how amusing it would be if I went to my appointment and it turned out I was actually in labor.  Eventually my amusement turned into, "Holy $#!}," there is a remote chance this could actually happen today.  So I started to get some nervous excitement and little waves of anxiety that I could feel physically manifesting in my body.  I told my midwife about it at the appointment and she asked if I was scared about the labor and I said No!  The anxiety was not about the labor, it was the realization that OMG, I could actually have a daughter by the end of the day!  Anyway, lest you worry, blood pressure and everything was fine.

But it is starting to hit home that any day now this thing is really going to happen.  I spend lots of time these days thinking about it.  I imagine that moment right after birth when she is laid on my chest for the first time, and bringing her home, and nursing her, and introducing her to the dogs, trying to figure out how to eat and sleep and bath while still meeting her needs.  Of course it's all highly romanticized in my head but who has time to spend worrying about labor when there are so many more important things to focus on.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Good Checkup

34 Week checkup today was excellent and very calming for my new mommy nerves.  The last week has been a bit of a roller coaster of emotions dealing with the fear that Caitlyn is going to come too early and we won't get to have the beautiful natural birth we imagined for her in the comfort of the Birth Center.  The waives of hormone surges that come with all these rapid changes in my body are interesting and new too for both me and Don.  Not something I'm used to dealing with.  "Needy" is a new sensation for me.  And it all gets directed at Don.  Figuring out how to communicate and work through that is interesting.  We're on a learning curve.

But the check up today confirmed that everything is healthy and on track.  No signs or indication at this point that things are getting going.  So I can relax and just focus on keeping things comfortable for Caitlyn so she can enjoy her stay in Casa de Utero at least a few more weeks.  She has dropped so low now, even more than before.  My doula says Caitlyn knows what she likes and has made herself so comfortable; she stays in that one spot and isn't going anywhere.  That's my little offspring, getting her house in order so she can be prepared and relaxed before the journey.  Like mother like daughter.

My instructions for the final six weeks are to get plenty of rest, eat lots of protein, minimize sugar and carbs, and drink water like a fish.  I can continue with light to moderate activity but no running any marathons.  OK, I can do that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

34 Weeks

Tomorrow is the 34 week milestone.  Caitlyn is growing so fast now and I feel like my body is changing by the minute.  Everything feels so immanent now that I keep getting momentary episodes of panic that she is going to arrive early on us.  I finally understand the full meaning of the word "anxious" in a way I never have before.  It's the craziest feeling of total anxiety about it happening too soon and absolutely not being able to wait at the same time. Sheer terror and total excitement.  Huge quantities of both and equal parts of both.  I just have to continue to remind myself that she's going to come however she comes and whatever the circumstances I will just make sure that I do everything I can to make her entry into this world a good one.  In the meantime I'm focusing on getting ready for her arrival and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

In that fashion the nursery is almost complete and for this I am so excited!  The crib arrives today and Katie is finishing up hemming the bedskirt and then all will be complete.  I also ordered a few final essentials that didn't get picked up from our registry today such as the diaper bag and missing pieces of our breast pump.  That is a huge relief towards feeling prepared.

Other things that still need to be done:

- Pack the hospital bag
- Reorganized some cupboards in the kitchen to make room for bottles and such
- Select a Pediatrician
- Lots and lots and lots of thank you cards
- Sort and store larger size baby clothes
- Launder all the new baby clothes and bedding

I'm sure there's more, but progress is happening and it feels good.