Saturday, October 31, 2015

39 weeks 4 days

Well, 3 days until my due date.  I wasn't totally expecting to make it this far, but for the non-baby part of my life, it's been good.  I've gotten through just about everything on our schedule/calendar, and today is Halloween, which my kids have been SO excited about.  We'll have soccer and a Halloween party, and then pretty much nothing but waiting for baby.  Which of course might not be a great thing, but I'm relieved to at least not have to worry about rearranging everyone's lives if I went into labor.

I have to admit I've been nervous.  At the movie we went to on Wednesday, Gecko kicked for 1.5 hours.  We watched the first half of the third original Star Wars movie on Thursday night, and Gecko kicked the whole time.  Then yesterday, Friday, suddenly almost no kicking.  Enough random solo kicks through the day to reassure me that he was still alive, but no major kicking sessions like I usually feel at least first thing in the morning and late at night before going to sleep.

We had friends for dinner, and while sitting at the table eating dessert, I brought up to my husband and friends that I hadn't felt much movement, so I finally called the midwife line just to be safe.  They told me that it was good I'd had something sweet, and I should drink something cold and lie on my left side for an hour and count kicks.  It was a little hard to do, since Tadpole insisted on cuddling with me, and her fussing and moving around made it hard to pick up some of the more subtle baby movements, but I did get to 10 within an hour, so I went to bed feeling a bit better.

Then I woke at 3:45, which is why I'm writing now at 5am.  I had a granola bar and a couple glasses of cold water, and Gecko JUST started moving, albeit very subtle movements again.  I'm hoping for a nice reading session on the couch with the kids tomorrow morning and some of his usual crazy antics so I feel more reassured, but for the moment I'm pretty content that at least he's moving.  The nurse I spoke to said he could have dropped and therefore not be moving as much since he's more squished, and that there are a lot of potential reasons for decreased movement.

In some ways, I find myself almost hoping for a c-section, even though in an ideal world it's not what I want.  I wouldn't have to worry about labor, failing my TOLAC/VBAC, emergency c-section, or Group B Strep.  Although I know it's not what I really want, it would be nice to just have a better idea of the end of the story - to know when the baby is coming, prepare for it, and have some control over the process.  But I KNOW I want this VBAC.  I picture an empowering labor and a possible water birth, holding my baby right after he's born and trying to nurse right away, a natural and calm entry to the world and a beautiful bonding experience for my husband, myself, and Gecko.  And a hopefully short, peaceful stay at the birthing center before being able to go home to my family.  It's what I'm really hoping for.

That reminds me, I had my last scheduled group prenatal appointment yesterday before my due date, and it went pretty well.  Blood pressure is inching up a tiny bit, but still in the normal realm, no swelling, and everything else checked out great.  The group was smaller than usual, but the women I feel the most connected to were there, and we talked about a lot of cool things. The midwife told me that I would have to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after the birth because of the Group B Strep issue, but that it can vary depending on what time I give birth (if I give birth at 1am, they won't kick me out at 1am two days later - I guess I might get to leave the night before?), whether I give birth on a weekend, that the rules are made by the pediatricians, and that my pediatrician might let me leave early if he was convinced that I would bring the baby back for a check-up the next day (which I wouldn't be possible if it were a weekend, I guess, so that's why the day of the week would be important).  I think my pediatrician would trust me to bring the baby in for a check-up, and we only live a few minutes from the hospital where his office is.  So I'm crossing my fingers that if all goes well and we were ready to go home before the 48 hours was up, we would be able to leave.

We also talked about how to induce labor on our own (plus medical methods of doing it), that we shouldn't really try unless we were past our due dates, and that our bodies wouldn't go into labor unless we were really ready.  So I'm crossing my fingers.  I may break out my pump on Sunday or early next week and give it a shot.  I just don't want to take too many chances with this little guy.  It's less than two weeks until my scheduled c-section date, and 3 days until my due date, so I know it's almost time to start thinking about these things.

Anyway, I've been up for 1.5 hours, I've felt a bit of movement, and I think it's time to try to get some more sleep.  Good night!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

39 weeks 2 days

That last post was kind of negative, sorry about that.  I was pretty stressed out.  It's a beautiful Thursday morning, we had some honest-to-goodness fall weather yesterday morning, although it cleared up and got sunny and warm again in the afternoon.  Our au pair is settling in.  Her phone habits still drive me up the wall, which again, I know is very much a product of her generation.  I don't think I realized how bad the younger generations are with their technology.  It scares me a bit for the future.

We went out on a date last night, I'm guessing possibly our last for a while.  We went out for some yummy Japanese food, and wandered by the independent theater to realize that the mountain movie Meru was playing in 10 minutes.  So I got coffee and ice cream and my husband got a tea, and we settled in for a lovely 1.5 hour film about mountain climbing.  It was almost like old days.  I had some random contractions/cramping throughout the movie, but it seems to have calmed down now.  I thought I might have been starting to just go into very early labor, but alas, it doesn't seem like it.

At this point, I'd like to hang on until Sunday.  It's not crucial, of course, but today my kids have violin lessons and I have my last group prenatal appointment, plus a meeting with our local au pair coordinator which absolutely has to get done at some point, and soon.  Tomorrow my kids' school is having a parade, which I'm hoping to go to, but I'm not telling them I'm going just in case I go into labor.  Also, Tadpole has her last soccer practice.  Saturday they both have their last soccer games, and it's Halloween and we're invited to a Halloween party.  Starting Sunday, we have just about nothing on the calendar - at least nothing that the au pair can't handle with some help from my friends and my sister.  Other than driving, she's been through most of our routine and as long as I leave detailed instructions and maps, I'm pretty confident she can make things happen.  The kids are warming up to her as well.  And really, all that truly matters is that they get to school and back, and get fed.

So, it's just a waiting game at this point, and doing some last-minute preparations, and trying to catch up and keep up on housework while I'm waiting.  And paperwork.

And now it's time to get the family up and start our busy day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

39 weeks

Well, here it is, 39 weeks.  Really full term by any standard.  I'm pretty ready to go.  My back hurts, my hips hurt, and I've been having sciatica pain.  I'm sleeping well some nights, but not others, even with some help from benadryl.  I'm just ready.

Our au pair arrived on Thursday evening.  I'm not thrilled with her.  She's young, and like many (most?) people her age, she's completely addicted to her phone.  She's constantly staring at it, even while walking around.  It's one of the most irritating things I've had to be around in a while.  I already can't stand the sound of whatever message program she's using.  I'm trying to cut her some slack because she's young and alone and in a foreign country, but we speak her language and she's here to do a job, which she is not really jumping into that eagerly since she's ALWAYS. ON. HER. PHONE.

It's awkward because I mostly wanted her to just hang around for the first few days and learn our routine, since I am still here and there is no baby and it seems easier for the kids as well to just have her sort of shadow me.  But unless I specifically ask her to do anything, she disappears into her room with her phone.  Tadpole likes her, but Turtle most definitely does not.

Speaking of Turtle, lately he's been cranky and difficult and clingy.  I think he knows the baby is coming and my attention is not focused completely on him and Tadpole, and he doesn't like it.  My uneasiness over the au pair and her lack of genuine excitement to be helping out around here doesn't help at all, either.

Anyway.  I'm just concerned about the situation and having this somewhat vapid, shallow person living with us for a whole year.  It feels like a really long time right now for a situation that doesn't feel ideal at all.

Pregnancy-wise, I've been waking up with cramping feelings, but they go away.  No real contractions.  Nothing else going on.  I keep thinking it's a sign of the beginning of labor, but then nothing.  Kind of disappointing.  I am having back pain, too, but still hard to know if it's anything at all.  Man.  I don't want to deliver on Halloween, but other than that, I'm ready to go at any time.  Come on baby!  Let's go!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

38w2d - 12 days to go

I'm sleeping so badly, I'm so tired!  At least I feel more prepared for the sleepless nights that are going to start sometime in the next two weeks.

I feel like I have a ton to do, and not much to do, all at the same time.  Pregnancy is so weird like that.  LIFE is so weird like that.  Mostly, I don't want to do the things that I should be doing, which is probably contributing to the problem.

Yesterday turned out to be just about a crazy as I expected.  The field trip was really fun - I drove out there and waited with the other parents for the school bus to arrive.  My kids had a great time, although I was in charge of 4 kids total and also just had to keep an eye on various things in general (i.e. making sure kids didn't let animals out of their pens), so I couldn't always help them or pay attention to just them, which was a bit disappointing.  I also had to run just as it was time for my kids to pick out pumpkins and Turtle's choice seems like it might be already rotting, so we might take a trip back there this weekend to make sure we actually get to do all the things they missed and maybe get another pumpkin or two.

Our au pair arrives tonight.  Yikes!  I think I'm almost ready, except for a small plumbing problem.  The faucet in the guest bath was leaking, and the plumber is having a hard time finding the right valve.  He came this morning assuming he had found it, but turns out that wasn't it, and now it's looking like we might not have a working sink for the au pair, at least for tonight.  Tomorrow is insanely busy, too, so I don't know if I can make another appointment.  Hopefully I don't go into labor before I can get all this straightened out.

After the crazy day yesterday, today is much calmer - sort of.  Plumber this morning, lunch, school, I just went grocery shopping and have a bunch of loose ends to tie up, pick up kids, flu shot clinic, Target for a reward for the flu shot, home to hopefully practice violin and take a bath, early dinner, then airport for au pair.  Not that much calmer, I guess.  Tomorrow's nuts, too - violin lesson in the morning, a short break until lunch, school, errands with the au pair to get her settled in, pick up from school, meet friends to ride the double-decker bus to campus, ride the bus home, Tadpole's soccer practice, get home in time to meet old friends who want to buy our old car, and then probably dinner with local friends.  There will basically be no free time AT ALL.  Luckily, the weekend is almost empty except for soccer games, but they're only 30 minutes and they're simultaneous, so we can finish our au pair errands and have some fun.  That's when we'll go back to the pumpkin patch and probably do some pumpkin carving.

So.  Life is crazy.  I'm looking forward to it settling down soon.  HAHA, what am I talking about, then I'm having a BABY!  But that's a beautiful, wonderful thing, and with the au pair to help, and my husband planning to be around more for a little while, I'm really excited about trying breastfeeding again, expanding our family, and really enjoying this phase of our lives.  I am very excited for the holidays this year.

Just to end, I'm going to leave you with a shot of the Christmas stockings I've made.  I still have to hand-sew the edging on Gecko's stocking, but I figure I'll do that once the baby is home and I'll be spending less time running around and more time hanging out.  I don't know how to rotate the stupid thing, but Turtle's stocking is on top (or left), Tadpole's is in the middle, and Gecko's new stocking is on the bottom (or right).  And they're on top of the new coffee table.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

38 weeks! 14 days to go

OMG, I'm so tired!  I had a nice day, albeit busy and not as productive as I hoped.  We are into the final stretch, both of the pregnancy and the crazy activities for the fall.  My kids have two more soccer games and have finished swim team for the fall.  Actually, they had a meet on Saturday, and did really well!  They each got medals for participating in all four races, and Turtle even won a trophy for getting third place overall in his age group.  They also have a violin concert coming up, next Monday.  So after the swim meet last weekend, these last two soccer games, and the concert, we are pretty darn free for the rest of the fall and winter.  Whew!  I can't wait.

All of this ends right before my due date, except the end-of-season soccer parties, which will almost certainly occur after my due date, and I don't know if I'll be able to make it.  Our au pair comes on Thursday, just two more days.  I'm still a little nervous - it's weird to have a total stranger arrive at the airport and you have to make them feel at home, although at least I have a lot of experience with both being a foreigner in her country and welcoming Italians to the US.  And I did some solo travel in Europe at her age, so I remember what it was like, too.  I think we'll do a pretty good job of helping her to fit in, I just hope our personalities all mesh well enough to make living together pleasant for everyone.

Tomorrow, my kids have a kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch, and I am volunteering, then I have to race to an OB appointment with an OB who is on call and may not even be there, and then I have to pick the kids up, grab lunch, go to swim lessons (we're doing once-a-week lessons through the winter), run a bunch of errands, and practice violin before meeting at my husband's office to attend their work dinner and costume party.  It's going to be a really busy day.

Oh, I almost forgot - we got a new car!  A Ford C-max hybrid.  We got it last night, and I need to do some research into how to get our state rebate, on top of the rest of the things I have to do before the baby comes.  It's really coming down to the wire, and I am hoping that the baby waits until right around his due date, but not much longer, to make an appearance.  It's a delicate balance, and I know babies often have their own plans, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Anyway, we are selling our old car, and I'm a bit sad about that.  It's the first car we bought together, we loved it, and it has done well for us.  Another piece of our old life will be gone.  Luckily our new car is pretty cool to make up for it.

I met with my doulas on Sunday.  I thought the visit went pretty well, although my husband barely participated.  Actually, whenever I get around to clearing off my desk, they gave me some stuff to read and fill out to help me prepare for what I will be comfortable with during labor, and how to get ready for it.

Anyway, it's late, and I need to get to bed.  Good night!

Friday, October 16, 2015


My midwife appointment yesterday was cancelled, so I had an OB appointment today with a new doctor at our local hospital.  I really liked her.  I guess baby was a bit sideways, so her measurement for fundal height was on the low side and I got a really nice bonus ultrasound.  She was worried he -might be sideways, but he was nice and head-down as expected (whew!).  His head was measuring slightly ahead, his abdomen right on schedule, and his femur pretty behind, which put his overall estimated weight at 5.7 pounds, or 22nd percentile and a bit small for his gestational age, but the doctor said that was fine and the measurements are notoriously off this late in the pregnancy.

So!  I was nervous about Group B Strep, but she didn't seem to be concerned at all.  She said that I don't need to be hooked up to an IV, they would put in a saline lock and hook it up for an antibiotic dose every 4 hours, but otherwise I wouldn't need to be hooked up to anything.  Another sigh of relief.  And otherwise it wouldn't affect the VBAC at all.  I have gained a LOT of weight, though - I'm ready to stop that nonsense soon.

I've been accomplishing quite a bit, although still not as much as I would have hoped at this point.  I still have an insanely long to-do list.  I did get the stroller fixed, though - I bought a used older-model Babytrend jogging stroller, and the wheel wobbled terribly, but I found some fixes online and it seems to work now.  I've sold our old crappy bike and bought a new one for our au pair that I'm not super happy with, but it will do if I can't find anything else.  I've got some of the baby stuff set up.  I started packing the hospital bag.  I'm getting the guest room cleared out, and got new sheets, just have to make the bed (I don't want the au pair using our nice guest sheets every day for a year, so I got some everyday ones instead).  I finished all the applique on the Christmas stocking for No-Longer-Nameless baby, and I have very little left to do to finish it, then I will pack up all my sewing stuff.  I set up a bedrail in Turtle's bed against the wall side, with pillows squished between the rail and the wall to keep him from banging against the wall during the night, which startles me like crazy but somehow doesn't wake him up.

I have a few small wood-working projects to finish up and clean up the patio, but they're really almost done.  I bought a baby gate to keep our cat in the farther part of the garage overnight so she doesn't keep the au pair up all night, but there is one spot she can squeeze through, so I am going to cut down a board to size and attach it to keep her in there.  The last semi-major project I have is to install some hooks on the wall of our garage to hang the bikes we're not currently using, like Turtle's old bikes and the next size up for both kids that I got for free, not realizing they would be too big.  I even worked on a bit of paperwork/filing, but that's going to be a huge ongoing project.

We're also trying to buy a new/used car - a plug-in hybrid that will allow my husband to use the HOV lane when he commutes.  Since he often gets stuck in major traffic, and our old car needs some major but non-essential repair (the AC), it's a good time for us to switch cars.  Unfortunately, we're having a hard time finding something that works for us - we can't claim the federal tax credit because of our current financial circumstances, and I can't find a used car that would meet our requirements.  Well, I'm really trying to avoid the bureaucracy of getting our own HOV lane sticker, and last week there were plenty of used cars online that already had stickers - now I can't find any.  We decided to wait a few more days and keep looking.

In the meantime, we're almost done with most of the crazy activities we signed up for this fall.  The kids' swimming ended this week, last swim meet is tomorrow, which we may not attend.  We're probably going to continue with lessons once a week through the winter, which is much more doable.  Soccer ends in two short weeks, right around my due date.  So then we'll only have violin and once-a-week swimming, which is a huge relief.  We can handle that.

And that's life.  Waiting and wondering when this little guy will make an appearance, and trying to get all sorts of stuff done until he does.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

37 weeks

Big day today.  I hit 37 weeks, which is considered early full term.  I feel pretty good about things.  I think I'm still having contractions.  I wouldn't say they're totally painless, but in addition to feeling my uterus tighten, I feel uncomfortable along the bottom of my belly, and sometimes feel a bit crampy.

It was a busy day, too.  I went to prenatal yoga, which went well.  I was feeling good.  Then home for a meeting with the people running the study on infant microbiomes, to go over the requirements for the study and sign the consent forms.  There were a ton of questionnaires to fill out, and it was overall a bit intimidating.  I can't help wondering if I've gotten in a little over my head.  Still, in addition to the personal benefits to me with the lactation consultant coming multiple times, I am extremely interested in this field of research and feel very good about participating.

After doing some chores, I picked the kids up from school by bike - I admit, it's getting harder and harder to ride, especially over the bike bridge over the busy nearby street.  We eventually made our way to swim practice.  Where Josephine lost the band-aid that was helping to hold on her toenail, which is barely hanging on by itself, and ended practice freaking out in the office while a high school kid desperately tried to get a band-aid to stick to her wet toe.  We raced home and were a bit late for my meeting with the lactation consultant.  Which went pretty well.  We went over my prior experience, she confirmed a lot of what I already knew and told me a few things I didn't know.  I feel somewhat prepared, but not overconfident, which I think is good.

And now the bad news.  I tested positive for Group B Strep.  At least according to the test results released to my online health account.  I see the midwife on Thursday, so I'm sure that will be a big part of our discussion.  I sort of freaked out at first, but I've gotten a lot of good advice and feel better now.  The comments range from how unlikely it is for the baby to get an infection to how simple it is to prevent an infection by having IV antibiotics.  In theory, I need an IV inserted (just as a back-up, not hooked up to anything) because of the VBAC.  I also read an article indicating that you only need the antibiotics administered every 4 hours and in between you don't need to be attached to anything, so my current plan is to discuss the VBAC and all other possibilities with the midwife - how does this affect laboring and/or birthing in the tub?  Can I only be hooked up to antibiotics when necessary and not be hooked up to anything in between doses?  What else should I be concerned about?  What about thrush and other side effects from use of the antibiotics?

And a bigger question - I've read and heard from many people that Group B Strep requires a minimum 48 hospital stay after the birth.  I hoped, if all went smoothly and there were no complications, to go home as soon as possible, but I'm guessing that's no longer a possibility.  Assuming this all happens after the au pair arrives, I still can't leave her with the kids all day and night, for multiple days.  And if I'm in labor during the night, I'll want my husband to be there.  So I'm working on lots of back-up plans, and thinking of creating lists of people who can babysit, stay with my kids overnight, possibly bring meals, etc.  It's really complicated not having much family in town.  I'm asking my sister to coordinate, and possibly spend the night if necessary, but of course she'll have to go to work as necessary, and I'm hoping that our au pair will be settled in and can manage the kids during the day.  The one thing that would be great to know is when the baby is going to be born, but of course that's not something I can plan ahead this time.  I can just hope for a quick and uncomplicated labor and delivery, a healthy baby, and enough warning to get a support team together for my kids so I don't have to worry while I'm at the hospital.

I'll update more on Thursday after meeting with the midwife.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Getting closer

Well.  I'm almost 37 weeks.  I'm still feeling that weird sensation that time is moving both too fast and too slow, that we're almost to the end of this, and that the end is creeping up ever so slowly.  I have various preferences of when I'd like this baby to come ... after the au pair, if possible, but not waiting TOO long because of the risk of pre-eclampsia or not going into labor at all.  Right around my due date would be pretty darn ideal.

So far my blood pressure is looking awesome.  My ankles are starting to look a bit swollen, but some swelling is normal, so I'm trying to keep it in perspective.  I am still wearing my wedding ring, although it's getting hard to slip it off, and my shoes all still fit, even if they are starting to feel a tiny bit tight.  I know there's nothing out of the ordinary going on, yet, but I'm still trying to stay aware of any possibility of pre-eclampsia.

I had a last-minute appointment with my midwife this past week, and I asked what would happen if I developed pre-eclampsia again.  She basically said that would not be good for my plans for VBAC, etc., that at the very least they'd probably try to get my on some blood pressure medication, and that she seriously doubted it would recur with this pregnancy.  SO!  Keeping my fingers crossed.

I finished my coffee table!  Here is a picture.

The house is a mess, and the arm of our rocking chair is in the foreground which looks a little weird, but you get the idea.  I also got our side patio, which I've been using as my work space, mostly cleaned up.  Since that patio is right off the guest room where our au pair will be staying, that was pretty crucial.

I'm also working on our little boy's Christmas stocking, which is going pretty quickly since I'm machine stitching it all this time around.  I expect to finish most of the detail work quite soon.  One of the reasons I'm making this a priority is not only that I doubt I'll have time to work on it after the baby comes, but I have to move all my sewing stuff out of the guest room, so it's nice to use it before I stow it away and it's not so easily accessible.

We're looking into buying a new car.  I have a ton of chores and errands to do before the au pair comes in just a week and a half.  We're still so busy with soccer, swimming, violin, social activities, school, and with housework and actual work.  I'm looking forward to being done with soccer and swimming for the fall, and never signing up for multiple sports again.  It's actually our last week of swimming, so that break is going to be so nice.

I meet with the lactation consultant for the university study I'm participating in on Tuesday.  I also need to schedule two meetings with my doulas, but I don't know how to fit it in, since I want my husband to be there and our evenings are getting quite full.  I wish I hadn't waited quite so long to get things moving on both of those fronts, but it can't be helped now.

Anyway, it is late, I'm tired, and I need to get to bed.  Only a few weeks to go, and so much to do.

If anyone is still reading ... I'd love some suggestions for a welcome package for our au pair.  She's a 21-year-old girl who has never been to the US before, and I don't think has ever lived on her own before.  I'm so used to traveling now that I can't remember what it was like at that age.  What would make her feel welcome and at home?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

36 weeks

Wow.  28 days to go.  There is so much going on right now in my life, it's hard to keep track of everything.  I've set myself the task of finishing making our coffee table and Nameless Baby's Christmas stocking by the time our au pair arrives on October 22, mostly because I need clean out the room where she'll stay and the patio outside, where my projects are set up.  So I've been working on both those things pretty regularly, and it's going slower than I hoped.  I also need a plumber to fix the faucet in the guest bath, and to find a better house cleaner and SOON.

In the meantime, I just met with the doula I liked, and her mentor, and I really liked them both and I'm excited about how this will work out.  They'll come for hopefully 2 prenatal visits to help me learn some labor techniques, support me during the birth, and come for 2 postpartum visits as well.  I'm so happy to have the support.

In addition - and I'm so excited about this! - I found out our local university is doing a study on probiotics and breastfeeding.  The main reason I'm excited about this is that participating requires that the baby be exclusively breastfed for 3 months, and in return, the university provides 4 visits from a lactation consultant, once before the baby is born, and 3 times after the baby is born.  I can't begin to say how great this study is, and I hope I am eligible to participate.  It will provide both the motivation to exclusively breastfeed as well as the support to do so, not only free but completely set up ahead of time.  While I'm at a point now where I recognize the value of paying for a lactation consultant, the hassle of finding them and making appointments is still a barrier, especially with all I have going on.

So, if I do both the doulas and the university study, I will have three prenatal visits and 5 postpartum visits, all aimed at helping me and my baby.  It feels a bit like the village I was yearning for when I gave birth to the twins, but never managed to get in place.  I feel so much better prepared this time around.  And even if I don't qualify for the study for some reason, it's giving me the motivation to get some lactation consultants lined up anyway.  I also plan to go to the local new mothers' group, where I used to go with my twins.  Between all this, the au pair, and my in-laws visiting a few weeks after my due date, I expect to have a lot of support and help, and I am so hopeful to be able to spend time relaxing and really enjoying the new baby.

Speaking of which ... he may have a name.  We're still not 100% sure, but I'm giving it a lot of thought and it's settling in and growing on me.  So we'll see.  I won't announce it here until after he's born, but hey!  That's not too long to wait now!

One thing the doula did say is that without having gone into labor on my own last time, in her experience most women in that situation tend to not follow the normal pattern of second-time mothers, and still tend to deliver on the later side.  She said I could probably expect, and should plan, to go at least to my due date.  We'll see, but it is good, in my opinion, to not have my hopes up for an early birth and then feel like I'm just waiting and waiting.  It also takes some of the pressure off to have everything ready WAY ahead of time.  I think I need to not go overboard and still keep on track for planning, so the basic necessities are ready anyway.  In any case, I need a lot ready by the time our au pair comes in just over two weeks, so I do have a deadline anyway.

And speaking of which - time to sand my table top and hopefully get start with drilling holes.  I'll try to post a picture of my table when it's done, so look for that in the coming few weeks.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

30 days to go

I missed my prenatal appointment Thursday because Tadpole was sick, so I rescheduled it for Friday afternoon.  I also missed the last La Leche League meeting I am expecting to be able to get to until little Nameless is born, which was a bit disappointing, since I've been hoping to have more support set up ahead of time, but I know I can work on that in other ways.

As I've mentioned before things seem to be moving quickly and slowly at the same time.  It's already October, yesterday I was exactly one month from my due date.  Our au pair arrives in less than three weeks, and I'm starting to make plans for what will happen if I go into labor before she arrives and gets settled in.  In any case, she can't be left alone with the kids for more than 10 hours in one day, so I'll need back-up help at any point when I go into labor.  But I also need to be sure that she knows the kids' schedule and can at least get them to school with all the things they need for a couple days, while my sister and other friends can handle evenings and nights for at least a day or two.  I'm hoping against hope that this birth goes quick, has no complications, and that I'll be out of the hospital quickly.

In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy, and mostly succeeding.  I'm sleeping pretty well, thanks to my willingness to take medicine to get to that point.  I love feeling little Nameless kick me, and treasuring it, knowing that I'll never feel it again.  I feel pretty good most of the time, and maybe that's because this pregnancy is so much easier than the last one with the twins.  I'm at 35 1/2 weeks, and still no real swelling or physical complications of any sort, except for my knee problem, which I've learned to handle pretty well.  Not to say that I'd want to be pregnant forever, and I'm sure it'll get harder as I get closer to the end, but it's not bad at all this time around.

I met with a doula few days ago, and she seemed pretty cool.  Even better, she's in an apprenticeship program, and if we go through the program she's in, her mentor would also be in attendance.  Her mentor just happens to be specialized in VBACs and is a passionate advocate for them, having had a c-section and then VBAC herself.  We'll meet with the mentor this coming week, and hopefully have a plan in place, since I will be 36 weeks.  This includes 2 prenatal visits, and 1-2 postpartum visits, which I'm really excited about.  She has also already been very helpful with looking up questions I had, so I'm just very content with the current situation.

The only thing that's been troubling me recently is the dawning realization that there is going to be an ACTUAL REAL BABY arriving soon.  I mean, I obviously know that, but sometimes it hits me, just like it did when the pregnancy test was unexpectedly positive back in February.  I never published that post, but I guess I should.  Sometimes when we go to bed, I wonder what I've done to our lives and our family.  Which seems ridiculous now.  In the light of day, I'm cheerful and excited and hopeful, but when we go to bed, I start to panic.  I've often had minor anxiety attacks at bedtime, so I'm guessing this is just part of that.  I have gotten good at breathing through them, and reminding myself that I'm not being rational.  I think watching Game of Thrones season 5 right before bed isn't helping either.

So, there it is.  I wanted to record my anxieties, as well as the joy I'm getting from the end of this last pregnancy, which we're planning to be my very last.  I'm 37 years old anyway, and feeling my age, and looking forward to getting in shape and growing the beautiful family that I have and will shortly be adding to.  I'm thrilled that the uncertainty of having more kids will be behind us, because it's hung heavy on my heart these last 5 years.  This really is a great place to be.