The stretch marks are taking over!!!! AAAAHHHH!
As I write this “39 week blog” I actually only have three days until my due date! Sorry it’s another late one.
I am finally done with all of my lessons and recitals for the year! Both recitals went really well. I feel like I’m an awkward public speaker, but I guess I did ok. My students did a great job, too. Now I can relax a bit and focus on all of the last minute preparations for Norah! I still think she won’t be here for another week or more, so I’m planning on doing a 40 week blog. I might also do one or two bonus video blogs before then if I can figure out how to edit and upload them.
Norah’s pretty much just hanging out in there and putting on more weight at this point! I’ve been advised not to eat too many carbs and sugars, since they make babies put on unneeded weight. I’m trying, but those are some of my favorite foods!
I did notice that Norah seems to have a new trick! Or at least one I couldn’t feel until now. I’m pretty sure I have felt her practicing breathing a couple of times! I was lying on my side, and I could just feel constant up-down movements on the side where her back is. It was very cool.
This week’s appointment was pretty uneventful, as usual – I guess I should count that as a positive thing! I am measuring 37 centimeters now, and my weight was 140 lbs., which is slightly less than I weighed two weeks ago. Amy didn’t say anything about it, so I guess that’s normal. I’ve heard that after 38 weeks or so some women stop gaining. The heartbeat is still great, of course. The most interesting piece of news, which really isn’t news at all, is that Norah’s head is not yet “engaged,” meaning it probably isn’t low enough in my pelvis for labor to begin just yet.
I’ve been getting a few questions on a daily basis from people, so I thought I would address them here (even though I don’t mind when people ask).
The first is, “So, are you ready?!”
I don’t know how to answer this question. I guess…mostly?
As far as being prepared, we’re almost there. We still have some things we should do before I’m in labor, like pack our bags! It just hasn’t quite made it to the top of our list. Maybe tonight. I’m going to call the nursery “done enough.” It still needs blinds and a curtain, and I am planning to make some sort of mobile to hang over the crib. I bought most of the supplies.
The mental/emotional readiness is also still in progress for me. I think Travis is more ready than I am. Isn’t it usually the other way around? As I said in a previous blog, I think the trick is to not think too far ahead – to take things one step at a time. Am I ready to be a parent for the rest of my life? Or am I even ready to handle parenting a toddler? I’m not sure of those. But I feel ready to deal with the immediate future, which is taking care of a newborn. Everything else will fall into place when the time comes.
The next question – or comment, really – is related to the first one: “You must be just dying to get her out of there!”
No, not really. I’m excited to meet her and all, but I’m still quite content being pregnant. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ve been lucky to have such an easy pregnancy thus far. I do have my moments, like when I can’t put my own socks on, or find anything to wear, or get up off the couch without help, or when Braxton-Hicks contractions and a full bladder wake me up in the middle of the night, sometimes three times. But I’m not constantly uncomfortable or anything, and I still like feeling and watching her move, and I like my basketball belly, even though the stretch marks aren’t pretty.
Lastly, “How will I know when you’re in labor?”
Well…you might not. Sorry. :-/
It kind of depends on how things progress, but here is our plan.
When it is apparent that labor has begun, we will inform the midwives. We will stay at home until contractions are 4 or 5 minutes apart, or until I just feel like things are urgent enough that I should go to the birth center. We will probably call our parents at this point, and they can keep our siblings informed. Depending on how quickly labor progresses once we are at the birth center, we may or may not call our parents again at some point. Everyone else will be informed after Norah is born.
We have a few reasons for only telling close family members when I’m in labor.
Travis is my labor coach. I am going to need his constant presence, support and attention once I’m in hard labor. We don’t want to feel like we have to keep updating everyone throughout the process. I need a low stress environment.
Labor could last for 24 hours or even longer. I don’t want to feel like people are waiting on me, otherwise I won’t be able to relax.
We aren’t planning on having any visitors at the birth center. We want some time to bond with our baby and let our new parenthood sink in. When we come home, which could be anywhere between two and 12 hours after the birth, we will be ready to have everyone come over and visit.
I really hope I’m not coming across as rude. I am really excited for everyone to meet baby Norah! I just know that we will probably be tired and emotional and will want to spend every minute together staring at and cuddling with our new daughter.
Last Thursday was our final baby shower! It was thrown by all the teachers at Travis’s school, and was a combined shower for us and for one of the gym teachers and his wife, whose baby is due at the beginning of June. It was so nice! We got some diapers we had registered for, some more adorable clothes, and some other very cute and useful things, plus some money and gift cards! We sure have been thoroughly showered in the past few months! We’ve hardly had to buy anything! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH EVERYONE!
Sunday was my first Mother’s Day! I wasn’t sure if it counted, but I got cards and gifts from a few people, which was really nice! Travis made me a really sweet card telling me how proud he is of me for taking such good care of Norah for the past nine months, and for all the research I’ve done on everything. J
Getting Ready for Norah
We’ve actually gotten a lot done in the past week!
We got oil changes for both of our cars, and of course they check the fluids and tires and all too, so we shouldn’t have to worry about any car problems in the near future.
We also got the car seat inspected. They said Travis did a wonderful job installing it! We have another base to put in my car, but we haven’t done it yet because we probably won’t need it right away.
Norah has a little baby book that we filled out the other night. There are family trees for both sides, questions about us, and questions about the pregnancy. We’ve almost filled out everything we can before she’s born (there are other sections on her birth story and milestones throughout the first year), but we still need to add a few pictures.
I’ve finished sewing the changing table cover and the crib skirt. As I mentioned, there are a couple more nursery projects I’d like to do. Travis is also still working on his little paintings.
Travis’s parents brought us the cradle that they used for their three children. It’s a really nice wooden one that kind of swings from side to side instead of being on rockers. We’re going to put it next to our bed and Norah will probably sleep there for a few months.
Yesterday I sterilized all of the baby bottles, pacifiers, breast pump parts, and nasal aspirators. J We probably won’t use the bottles until we go to Pennsylvania next month, but I think you only have to sterilize them once, and after that you can just wash them with dish soap. Let me know if I’m wrong about that. You are supposed to sterilize the nasal aspirators after each use, which seems like a pain.
I also finished washing all of Norah’s new clothes and diapers. I had ordered a diaper cover and several inserts from www.nickisdiapers.com, and they came in the mail yesterday so I decided to go ahead and wash them all. I wanted to wait until they were all here so I could do them all at once because you’re supposed to wash and rinse them several times before you use them, otherwise they won’t absorb very well. First I boiled the hemp inserts (twice) because I heard that’s a good way to get the natural oils out of them, then I put all the diapers through a hot prewash with vinegar, a heavy duty wash with just a little detergent, a rinse with more vinegar, and a second rinse with just water. Hopefully that did the trick!
Travis installed the diaper sprayer in the closest bathroom to Norah’s room, so we can spray off the grossness into the toilet.
And finally…SURPRISE!! Here are some photos of the nursery!