I’m nearly 39 weeks pregnant, and have decided to give another update to help pass the time.
I’m managing to stay very active, continuing to walk several days each week and attending prenatal yoga class once a week. This is THE thing that is keeping me going.
At 37 weeks, my yoga instructor always takes photos of moms in their favorite yoga poses. I love the way that these turned out. It really helps me remember how much I’ve accomplished and overcome this pregnancy.
(This is NOT my favorite yoga pose, but it does make for a neat photo.)
This past week, I hit a HUGE milestone by hitting 175 miles logged this pregnancy!
I mostly walk indoors on the walking track at the YMCA, but we had one cool morning last week where I was able to walk around the block with Ezra. (No, it’s not really cool enough for jackets and sweat pants but Ezra insisted on wearing them because they were “comfy.”)
It was also cool enough over the weekend that I was able to join the boys on a short hike. Yes, a hike. At 38 weeks pregnant. (Where’s my Wonder Woman cape?)
One thing that really helped was belly wrapping, something I have heard about a lot for the postpartum timeframe, but also something I read mentioned in this post, 17 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL VBAC. This post, Belly Binding for Optimal Fetal Positioning, goes into further detail about HOW to belly wrap (complete with a YouTube video for us visual learners).
I wrapped for the first time, using my Moby Wrap, Saturday morning before going hiking.
The wrap helped me feel so much more stable and nearly eliminated lower abdominal and back pain. Our hike was .8 mile, a moderate trail with some sections of stairs. With frequent rests, I honestly felt great the entire time.
These last few weeks are challenging both mentally and physically, although I think it’s the mental portion that is requiring the most concentration.
Prodromal/pre-labor has kicked up, with something hovering between “Braxton Hicks” and “true contractions” becoming my constant companion, both day and night. Waking up every hour at night is pretty much the norm, but no true labor patterns have been established just as yet.
I know that all of this work is doing things I can’t see and strengthening my body for the real deal, but it is both physically and emotionally exhausting.
I’m spending a lot of waking hours (when I’m not mothering, exercising, or napping), focusing on positive affirmations while doing hip circles on the birth ball, deep breathing, and listening to relaxing music or guided imagery. This helps me remain calm and focused on the task ahead and counteract my daily stress load – as well as get baby into a good position. However, too much of this gets my head stuck in a “when am I having this baby?” zone, which can have the opposite effect of what I’m trying to do.
During those moments, the best remedy I have found is total distraction (thank you, Netflix), or humor (thank you Google images).
Over the weekend, both of the boys were communicating a lot of angst and excitement about the baby coming. Asking about it a lot, talking to the baby, poking at the belly – that sort of thing. While normally, this would be endearing, yesterday, it wasn’t so much. I was perturbed. Annoyed. Wondering why they wouldn’t just leave. me. alone.
That’s when I Googled “funny pregnancy memes” on my phone. This was the first thing that came up:
Little Brother is head-down, pretty well engaged, and anterior!!!!!! Ezra was posterior which caused some of his birth complications, so this is a HUGE relief – as long as he stays that way.
Our main “concern” with this baby, other than positioning, is his size, which we are expecting will be BIG! I’ve gained 50 pounds as of this morning, which is still a far cry from the 80 I gained with Ezra, so I’m thrilled. My fundal height is measuring 7 weeks ahead (46 cm at 38 weeks, 5 days), but fluid levels were confirmed today as being high so that is a factor which is a bit relieving.
They have monitored my blood sugar levels with fasting finger-prick glucose tests at the last two appointments to help set everyone’s mind at ease that there isn’t some hidden gestational diabetes going on, but my levels have been BEAUTIFUL. My blood pressure has also been in the lovely normal range (another complication we dealt with at the very end of my pregnancy with Ezra).
Having extra tests is not something I’m thrilled about, but so far there has been no pressure from the midwives to have cervical checks, growth ultrasounds, or anything more invasive (such as early induction), so I feel that the tests that I have agreed to have been within reasonable, demonstrated cooperation on my part, and helped everyone (especially one overly-concerned OB on staff) stay chill in the face of planning the VBAC birth of a big baby.
We had a wonderful last prenatal meeting with our doula, whose support through this pregnancy has been invaluable. We talked over our cesarean birth plan and discussed quite in depth how we will best manage Russell’s anxiety during labor and what roles everyone will play. She prayed with me and over baby that, above all, this will be a peaceful, healing experience for all of us.
We are waiting patiently for baby to be ready to be born.
We are active and focused. We are calm, centered, and in control.
We have prepared.
We are ready.
Bring it on, Baby Boy!