Thursday, November 12, 2015

36 weeks

Four weeks to go -- if that. If this little guy wants to be like his siblings, he'll be here in about three weeks. But maybe he wants to be different, and this is going to be the first time I see 40 weeks of pregnancy. It's been known to happen. I really, really hope that doesn't happen because I am now down to weekly visits with my midwife, and it is a lot to be driving 75 miles each way to Charleston.

Physically, I am still doing well, no real complaints -- just usual third trimester stuff like the need to pee every 20 minutes, and not eating as well as I was before. I'll get really hungry, and then only be able to take a few bites of a meal. It's just too much work to try to get things into my stomach. But I'm still gaining. I was 140 at my last weigh-in, so a total of 32 pounds gained so far. I snack a lot on fruit, cheese, almonds, and my "superpower muffins." When I'm on the couch at night watching Breaking Bad (Tim's and my new addiction), I crave Wheat Thins. Apologies to Tim for making the bag rattle while we're trying to hear the show. I am always too hot, and I still have not had much use for the sweaters I thought I'd be wearing at the end of my pregnancy. My Liz Lange maternity tank tops from Target are my go-to, and I am continually messing with the thermostat and turning on fans to try to stay cool. Sleep is still good, and luckily I only need to get up once at most to use the bathroom. I have NO problems falling asleep and staying asleep, and I am enjoying it while I can. I take a nap almost every afternoon too, for anywhere from a half hour to an hour.

I'm still doing my prenatal yoga, and taking walks when it's cool enough and the bugs aren't biting too much. I started seeing a Webster Technique-certified chiropractor about a month ago, and I really like her. I continue to see her even though the baby has been consistently head-down for the last few weeks, and it looks like he's going to stay that way. She found some imbalances in my spine on the first visit, and I have to admit I don't really understand this stuff but I do believe that I give myself the best chance of an easy labor by making sure that my bones are all lined up properly. I always feel so much better when I leave her office too. I was surprised when she adjusted my neck at the first visit too. I hadn't known my neck needed any adjustment, but I was sitting there and she twisted my head first one way -- "crack!" and then the other -- "crack-crack!" I let out a "Whew!" that probably everyone heard. It is the strangest feeling to be first scared to death that your neck is about to be broken, and then relieved and happy because now it feels so much better.

I am slowly but surely getting it together around here like I knew I would eventually.

Our room is looking like a place a baby is going to be born. I've got the pack 'n play set up. I know, it's a pack 'n play and can be set up in about a minute, but we don't have a crib and I really wanted the baby's bed set up. I'm happy to say that the Graco Pack 'n Play has not changed in eight years. But I do like the colors of the new one better -- brown and sage green, and no funky plaid. I've got the glider and ottoman in the corner, and I was very pleased that the upholstery detached and washed up nicely in the machine. I'd been ready to replace the upholstery altogether, but Tim's cooler head prevailed and he suggested just washing it first to see what that would do. I love that chair. I've spent so many hours nursing my babies in that chair, and in a matter of weeks I'm going to be sitting there nursing another! It doesn't seem real. I've gotten almost all the rest of the baby gear that I need, either gently used or on sale at Amazon. I just ordered a changing table. I can't wait to organize all his little clothes, diapers, wipes and whatever else in it. Ah, that will be fun.

My midwife Joanne and her assistant Stephanie came last week for a home visit, and left the birth pool. Tim has already set it up once, and after obtaining the one part that was missing at our appointment yesterday, that's good to go. I've got a basket of supplies that I've put together, some from Joanne's list and some just things I know I want to have. The birth kit arrived the other day, and it's got things like enormous pads, gloves, and other assorted medical type stuff. I just made my "laborade" popsicles today. I remember how much I liked having them when I was in labor with Timmy. The recipe is simple: water, honey, lemon juice, salt, and crushed calcium-magnesium tablets.

My next appointment with Joanne is next Friday, and she has another client who lives in my area who also has an appointment that morning. She and Joanne suggested we carpool, and I wasn't initially keen on the idea. I've kind of gotten in the groove of those long drives by myself, and I like to sing along with the "random" music radio station (random with heavy emphasis on the '80s) and just enjoy my solitude. Who wants to be making conversation for a three-hour roundtrip car ride with someone they've never met? Not this introvert. But then I shrugged and told them if she's interested they can pass on my information to her and she can give me a call. I'll swing by and pick her up, but she'd better be ready bright and early. I have to admit I'm curious about the other person who lives in Beaufort, SC who's giving birth at home. I never meet anyone else like me around here. I know they're out there, but they're like unicorns. There is no LLL here, and no natural parenting community here where I might run into another homebirther. I amused myself for a little while as we all drove home yesterday, imagining what Joanne's other Beaufort homebirth client would be like. "I'm going to drive to the end of a dirt road, and there's going to be a chicken coop, and a bunch of kids and dogs running around.. And she's going to come running out in a long skirt and Birkenstocks, and when she gets in the car she's going to smell like sweat and patchouli and I'm going to have to drive with the windows down.." Tim smirked at me. Then with a cackle I said, "She'll probably be expecting me to show up in a Volkswagen bus! With a dreamcatcher hanging from the rearview mirror!" I do crack myself up.

My wonderful neighbors are throwing me a baby shower, and that's this Sunday. This baby boy and I are really lucky! I will be taking my girls with me. Tim, to his everlasting relief, is not invited. We are old school here, and don't believe men have any business at a baby shower.

As the time for baby number 4's arrival gets closer, you know who I'm excited for (besides myself)? Tim. He was on a ship from the time I was five months pregnant with Timmy to when he was six months old. It blows my mind still to think of how much he missed out on. We made the best of it and I sent him tons of pictures and videos. I remember him telling me that the girls when they were babies had had no use for him until they were six months old anyway. But he did get to snuggle lots with them when they were newborns, before they had realized they had no use for him. So the last newborn he snuggled was Annie. And the last time he saw a belly this full of baby was Annie. The last time he was there for a birth was Annie's. I'm just so grateful that he will be there every step of the way this time around.

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