I’m so sorry this is so late! I’ve never been this late with a blog before. This week has flown by.
I’m full term! Can you believe it? This has gone by SO fast for me – especially the second half or so.
Norah is now gaining weight at a rate of approximately a half ounce per day, and she sure is kicking hard sometimes! She probably weighs over six pounds now. My measurement around the belly is about 40 ¼ inches, and I’ve now passed the 140 lb. mark! Eek! I weighed 140.5 at my midwife appointment on Monday. That’s not bad, though, it’s just weird when I’ve never weighed more than 115. If I gain 5 more pounds by the end, I’ll still be well within the “normal” range. Amy also said that my official belly measurement is 36 centimeters (still technically a week behind), and that it might not get any bigger since Norah’s head will probably start to descend into my pelvis soon.
Random tidbit: I hate wearing pants now, especially if they aren’t super stretchy. I was left with only one pair that was still comfortable, so the other day I went to Target and got some yoga pants, leggings, and a few long tops/dresses. I only bought one maternity item, because I won’t need them for too much longer.
I finally figured out where the pharmacy is that had all of my prescriptions, and I went to pick them up on Monday. My insurance covered about half the cost of the Pitocin, and almost nothing on the Methergine and Vitamin K, so I called Amy because she told me if they weren’t covered she might have some at the birth center left over from patients who didn’t need them. She told me to just get the Pitocin for now, and then she started talking about the Vitamin K shot, so I told her that we had decided on the oral Vitamin K and that the doctor had told me it’s the same stuff, but you just administer it orally instead of as a shot. I had been surprised when he told me that, but I didn’t ask questions. She said that, yes, you can do that, but then the baby is still exposed to the preservatives, etc., that are in it, so you almost might as well give the shot if you use the same stuff. She pointed me toward a natural form of drops, which I just ordered today.
Speaking of supplements, it was pointed out to me that some of the herbs in the 5-W I planned to take might not be safe for pregnant women. I don’t think they’ve been proven to be harmful, but they haven’t been proven to be not harmful either. Wow, double negative. You know what I mean. Anyway, since it’s probably not really necessary, we’ve decided that I might as well not take it. Unfortunately, I had already opened the bottle just because I wanted to see what they looked like. Dumb me. So now we can’t return them. Amy said if she has any patients who want to use it, she’ll give them the option of buying ours for a few dollars cheaper.
I am especially confident that I probably won’t go too far past 40 or 41 weeks now, because the other day I woke up at 5:00 in the morning with pretty strong contractions. Braxton-Hicks don’t bother me much, but these were painful, especially in my lower back, and I had to stop what I was doing to cope with them. I couldn’t get back to sleep. I called Amy because though they were strong, they didn’t seem like real labor contractions because they weren’t coming at regular intervals. They were anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes apart and between 30 seconds and just over a minute long. She said I just have an “irritable uterus,” and to take a bath (which I had already done) and have a half a glass of wine. It worked. They stopped soon after. Now, don’t freak out over the wine! At this point in pregnancy it’s considered safe to have a small amount of alcohol. I certainly wouldn’t condone drinking for no reason if you are pregnant, though. I didn’t even drink a half glass. Alcohol is like medicine to me. Blech. Anyway, my guess is that if I’m having tons of Braxton-Hicks, plus that episode of strong contractions, I’m probably getting ready to go into labor in the next few weeks. Actually, I’m hoping Norah can wait at least that long, because I have piano recitals for my students on May 3rd and 10th, plus a baby shower in North Carolina this Saturday and one at Travis’s school on May 5th! Not to mention I’d like to finish my sewing projects. I also just don’t feel quite ready to be done yet! I feel like I just got to the point where I’m obviously pregnant, and for the most part I’m still enjoying the attention that comes with that. J And it’s just going to be such a huge shift when Norah goes from being part of me to being her own little person. It’s kind of scary.
Other than the contractions, my main symptom right now is leg cramps at night and when I wake up in the morning. I’ve tried drinking more water and eating more bananas, and neither seemed to help. Oh, well.
Getting Ready For Norah
Even though the blog is pretty much all about getting ready for Norah at this point, there are a few specific things we’ve been doing to prepare.
First, my sister Toni brought her kids over on Tuesday to do yard work! She and the boys mowed the lawn, trimmed the bushes, and even washed my car, while the girls and I cleaned the porches (between cuddle sessions with one of our cats). All of this was long overdue, so it’s so great to have it done. Travis and I don’t much like yard work.
Travis installed the car seat in his car, and there’s a free car seat check at his school on May 4th.
We've got all of the placenta encapsulation stuff pretty much ready to go. I also found a list of the “known ingredients that give the placenta its healing properties”:
Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
Prolactin: promotes lactation
Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during birth and breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant
Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events
Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores
Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections
Hemoglobin: replenishes iron to prevent anemia, a common postpartum condition
Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections
I found detailed instructions for encapsulation at , and we ordered some empty capsules and got permission from Travis's very generous (and apparently not easily grossed out) mother to use her food dehydrator. The only other thing we need is a jar to keep them in. I'll probably just use the one my prenatal vitamins are in. I'm really excited that we went the super cheap route with this...to have someone come and do it for us would cost $200. To buy a kit with the instructions costs $75, and a kit without the instructions costs $25 (I'm curious as to why there's such a big price difference for with versus without instructions). On the site I was looking at, even just the capsules in a cute jar with a flower on it would have totaled $13. The capsules we bought were around $6 from Amazon, including the shipping. So, instead of ending up with a $200 jar of vitamins, I'll get the same thing for $6! I just love saving money. :-)
Speaking of saving money, someone told me about a consignment sale going on throughout the month of April, so I went to check it out a week or two ago and bought a Moby Wrap and the exact type of chair I wanted (a dish/saucer chair) for Norah's room. Both items are normally $40, and I got them for $14 each. They weren't priced quite as low as most of the stuff we found at the consignment event we went to a month or two ago, but still good deals.
I have also made my own laundry detergent. This is in the "Getting Ready For Norah" section because you can't use just any detergent on cloth diapers, or they will start to lose absorbency. I THINK you can use All Free and Clear or Tide, but even these are sort of iffy. There are better ones, but you have to order them. I just thought I'd rather make it myself since I found a recipe online that people swear by (http://www.duggarfamily.com/recipes.html), and I sort of thought it would be fun. It was! The stuff gels up to a really strange consistency, and Travis and I honestly had fun squishing it in our hands for like 15 minutes. We're easily entertained, I guess. Also, the recipe makes 10 GALLONS (!) of detergent with just one cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, a half cup of Borax, and one bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap, plus some water. Super cheap. Smells good, too!
We have also started getting our bags ready for when it's time to meet baby Norah. We've mostly got her stuff together in the diaper bag, and we've made a list of all the stuff we want to pack for us. We haven't picked out Norah's "going home" outfit yet, because we still have those two showers, so we'll probably have more to choose from. Other than that, I think we should have all we need. We will probably only be staying at the birth center for 6 hours or so after she is born, so it's a little easier than if we were packing for a two- or three-day hospital stay. (Just so no one is concerned, a short stay is pretty standard for birth centers, but they will send a postpartum doula to our house the following day to check on all of us, and the pediatrician will see Norah the day after that. The doula will continue to make home visits for six weeks, or until we leave for Pennsylvania.)
The Bradley class this week was mostly a review of what to expect during labor and how to handle it (for me and for Travis), especially some energy-saving techniques to ensure that I can get through the whole labor without getting exhausted. Next week is our last class! I think we'll be going over newborn care.
Lastly, we had a great Easter! After church, Travis's brother Nathan took some photos of us so that we could get some better ones of both of us and some of my henna. Then my dad, step-mom, and brother all came over and brought Easter dinner! We showed them the nursery, even though it's still not completely finished. I'll show it to you soon, I promise! Here are some of the photos Nathan took. Have a great weekend!