Friday, November 14, 2014

Arielle's Birth Story

Finally, I'm making time to write the birth story!  Thanks for your patience from those of you who enjoy reading the details! :)  I'm going to intersperse the story with pictures from that day.

First of all, to back up to my last pregnancy post, you may remember that we had used evening primrose oil to see if we could get anything started.  At the time, I was dilated to about 3 cm and "very stretchy."  Sherry felt like I would go really fast again, once things got started . . . but nothing really got started that day.  That was last Weds, and nothing happened on Thursday at all, so I figured I was in for a bit of a wait . . . no big deal, since I wasn't even quite at the 39 week mark yet.  The main concern was my blood pressure, which was the only reason Sherry thought it might be good if baby came sooner than later, but she wasn't really worried either way.   

 Sherry had sent home a blood pressure cuff with me on Weds. so I could monitor it at home.  I was taking it 3 times a day and writing down the numbers.  We talked briefly on Thursday, and agreed to be in touch daily so I could keep her up to date on that.  In the meantime, Jim had blown up the birth pool "just in case," and sometime (maybe Weds. or Thurs. night?) we had put the labor sheets on the bed, also "just in case."  And then we waited.  Friday morning, I had some physical signs that made me think labor might be starting soon.  I even had some contractions off and on, but looking back now I can see that they were just more Braxton-Hicks.  It had been so long since I'd been in labor that I didn't remember exactly what it felt like, so these contractions were tricking me!  I was in touch with Sherry throughout the day, letting her know I thought something was going on, and I also put my mom on alert that she might need to take the kids.  But Friday passed without anything actually happening, even though that morning I'd been sure we would meet our baby by nighttime!
 On Saturday I talked with Sherry again, and she offered to come up and check on me, and do another round of evening primrose oil, but only if I wanted to.  She said it was up to me to decide if I wanted to risk being disappointed if nothing happened again.  I talked it over with Jim, who didn't mind either way, and finally decided to go for it, mostly only because I thought it would be nice to have the baby on the weekend.  I was still dilated to a 3-4 cm when she checked me.  After Sherry and her student left, we went to Walmart for a while to get a few things.  I hoped that the extra walking would help.  It didn't seem to!  We hung out at home the rest of the day, and I did go through one emotional meltdown of discouragement, but then I got ahold of myself and we all went out for a walk in the brisk fresh air.  At that point I just gave it over to God and felt peace that this baby would come in His perfect time, whether that was now or a couple weeks from now!  I felt peace too that if our little "nudge" with the evening primrose oil didn't work again, that we wouldn't bother to try to move things along anymore.  My blood pressures had been maintaining at pretty much the same numbers over the course of the weekend--still high, but not alarmingly so, and I didn't feel really stressed that they would be an issue in the long run.
 I called Sherry around 9 pm Saturday night to let her know nothing was happening, and I was going to bed.  We planned to continue to keep in touch daily, and I had instructions to call her if I sensed something really was going on.  She also assured me that she didn't mind me calling multiple times, and didn't mind coming up to check on me even if it turned out to be a false alarm.  I tend to feel really bad about "bugging" people, so it was nice to know that she was fine with me being a pest. :)  Jim and I stayed up till around 11 or so, watching a couple episodes of Hogan's Heroes online.  I felt nice and relaxed, I wasn't having any contractions, and looked forward to a good night's sleep.  Before we went to bed, we took off the labor sheet and the plastic sheet that were over our normal sheets.  The plastic sheet makes everything really hot, and I didn't want to be sweating all night.  Besides, I joked to Jim that taking off the labor sheets would probably cause me to go into labor. ;)
 So we went to bed and I slept soundly until just before 2 am.  I woke up with stomach cramps and headed for the bathroom.  As I was getting ready to go back to bed, I realized that the cramps kind of felt like labor pains--or at least what I thought I remembered labor pains feeling like!  I decided to stay up for a little while and see if I had more, and if they were coming at regular intervals or not.  I brought my Kindle out to the couch and tried to read a bit in between contractions (which I soon realized they were).  I had downloaded a handy free contraction timer on my iPod, so I used that to see how long they were lasting and how close together they were.  From the beginning they were lasting about 30-60 seconds and coming about 4-5 minutes apart.  But I still wasn't sure this was the "real thing."  (Dumb me!)  I timed about 7 or 8 of them, reading in between.  I realized I was having to breathe and concentrate through them, and finally decided I'd better wake up Jim, around 2:30 am.  Poor guy was a bit disoriented, and I'm sure he figured it might be a false alarm, but he gamely got up and started getting the birth pool ready in the living room while I brought out the box of birth supplies.  And we put the labor sheets back ON the bed. :)  This was all in between me breathing through contractions and trying not to get too grumpy.  I called Sherry around 2:40 to let her know that I *thought* I was in labor, but it still might be a false alarm (I was still in disbelief at this point, I guess :)).  She said they would be on the way as soon as possible.
 Jim started filling the pool and got the package of towels in the oven to warm up.  I wandered around, trying to time the contractions and find comfortable positions.  It turned out that I felt most comfortable standing up this time, or leaning over slightly and hanging onto something like the counter in the bathroom.  The contractions were definitely coming closer together at this point, but I was still able to work through them pretty well.  The pool took a little while to fill, and Jim kept having to mess with the water temperature to keep it at around 100ยบ.  This was a little bit frustrating (for me ;)) because I wanted his support through the contractions and he kept having to leave my side!  But it wasn't that bad--just seemed frustrating at the time. :)  (It's funny in retrospect, the things that become really annoying during labor.  Later on when I got in the tub, I was in the quiet, dimly lit living room, which is right beside our bedroom, and I got seriously annoyed that our bedroom light was on and everything was brightly lit up in there!  I told Jim I knew it was stupid, but I really needed him to turn it off because it was bothering me. :))  Anyway, back to the contractions . . . we were still waiting for the water to get deep enough, and it was getting close.  I was standing by the piano, right near the pool, waiting to get in, when suddenly I had an extra intense contraction and felt a pop and a gush--my water had broken!  This was the first time since I had Sam that it had broken before getting in the water.  I really hadn't expected it, but there it was . . . and by now I knew without a doubt that this was really and truly labor.  No need to feel bad about dragging the midwives out of bed in the middle of the night!
 We noted the time when my water broke--it was 3:13 am.  I got in the tub just a couple minutes later, so around 3:15 am.  Using the birth pool this time (vs. the bathtub) was amazing.  I loved having the freedom to get into different positions and having the water so much deeper.  I think I was pretty much in transition by the time I got into the pool.  Jim stayed with me as much as he could, aside from jumping up to turn the hose on (we had it hooked up to the laundry sink) and add more water once or twice when I felt like we needed a little extra warmth.  I tried to relax and breathe through the contractions, which were coming right on top of each other, and hoped that the midwives would arrive soon!  It seemed to be taking forever for them to get there!  (Although it really hadn't been that long.  :))  I was still kind of in disbelief that my labor was going so fast.  I knew it had the potential to do so, but part of me really figured I was in for a totally different kind of labor this time around, being my 4th child and not having given birth for more than 6 years.  I told Jim that I was starting to feel "pushy."  I really didn't want to push until the midwives got here, but I'm also not the type that can hold back if my body is saying it's time to push!  Jim calmly said, "Just do whatever you have to do and it'll be fine."  I'm sure he was hoping I could wait a bit too, but I appreciated him being calm about it. :)
 Sherry and the assisting midwife, Kathryn, arrived around 3:35 am (I think).  I have probably never felt happier about seeing someone come through the door. :)  They got right to work getting out their supplies and getting ready, as they could tell it wouldn't be long!  Sherry got her gloves on right away when I told her I felt like pushing.  At this point I was on hands and knees in the pool and I suddenly had a tremendous urge to push.  At the same time I felt like I needed to change position and ended up in more of a sitting position with my back against the side of the pool, and I heard Sherry beside me calmly saying "We have a head!"  It had all happened so fast, I could hardly believe the head was already out.  I rested for a little bit and then the rest of the baby came flying out with the next contraction.  And I suddenly felt a LOT better. :)
 The baby looked really whitish gray and wrinkly, and the cord was around her neck so it took her a minute to get a good breath and start making some noise.  The midwives calmly rubbed her and flicked her feet to get her started, and then she began to cry and pinked up quickly.  Her first Apgar score at one minute was an 8 due to her color and tone not being great, but her second Apgar at 5 minutes was a 10.  By then she had gotten lots of good color and was working on clearing her lungs nicely. :)  While all this was going on, I hadn't remembered to look and see if we had a girl or boy.  I remember Sherry calling the baby "Buddy" or something, so my first assumption was that we had a boy . . . but then I looked and was super surprised to find out we had a girl!  Jim had already noticed, I think, but hadn't said anything yet.  When I said, "We have a girl!" he replied, "I know.  I thought she would be!"  The neat thing is that I had really hoped for a girl this time around, although I would have been happy either way, of course. :)  But when we first found out I was pregnant, I just had the feeling for some reason that it was a girl.  As the pregnancy went on, though, I wasn't so sure anymore.  It seemed like the pregnancy in general felt a lot like my pregnancy with Julia, but it had been so long that I couldn't remember for sure.  And I felt like I was carrying more like I did with Sam.  Anyway . . . it was neat how God gave me the desire of my heart and now we have two girls and two boys.  Both Julia and Josiah had really hoped for a sister, as well, so they were quite excited!  And although Sam had said he hoped for a boy, he totally adores his baby sister, as you can probably tell from the picture further up the page. :)
 Anyway, back to the story. :)  I cuddled the baby in the pool for a few minutes, all wrapped in a towel.  She was covered with lots of vernix, so she looks pasty white in the very first pictures we have (which the assisting midwife took, and won't be posted here for modesty reasons :)).  The midwives and Jim got out towels and made a path from the pool to our bed, then they helped me and the baby out of the pool (she was still attached to me with the cord, as they hadn't cut it yet) and onto the bed, where the placenta was delivered a few minutes later.  Then Jim cut the cord, and Sherry took a cord blood sample (I'm RH negative, so we needed to know the baby's blood type in case I would need a Rhogham shot), and I was able to nurse the baby for the first time.  She caught on quickly, a lot like Julia did when she was first born!  The midwives left us alone and Jim and I enjoyed those first quiet moments with our new daughter.  Later, Jim took the baby while Sherry examined me for tears.  I did have one, but thankfully they gave me the option of not having stitches, and just letting it heal on its own.  I have always torn a little bit when giving birth, but have never had to have stitches except when Sam was born.  I think I tear because I am in too much of a hurry to get the baby OUT!  Then I was able to get cleaned up and back into bed, and Sherry did the newborn exam, weighed her, etc., while Kathryn took pictures for us.  It was really special having more pics this time around, of baby's first hours!  I was thankful she offered to do that for us.

Sam had woken up just after the baby was born because he heard her crying.  He peeked out of their room while we were still in the pool, and we sent him back to bed, with the promise that we would get him up to meet her as soon as we were all settled.  He stayed wide awake from around 3:45 on, and we finally let him get up around 6 am.  The midwives left by around 6:30, then Sam and Jim went to work making a big breakfast, while I snuggled in bed with Arielle (who was still nameless at that point).  It took us the better part of the day to choose a name for her!  We were finally able to start calling family and letting them know she was here, which was quite exciting. :)  Then Jim and Sam cleaned up the birth pool and Josiah and Julia finally woke up and got to meet their new sister.
As you can tell, all of the kids were thrilled to find that they had a baby sister. Julia had been asking me almost daily if THIS would be the day that the baby would be born . . . finally her long wait was over!  They marveled over Arielle's tiny fingers and toes, how tiny and perfect she was . . . and they still tell me over and over daily how cute and sweet she is.  They love to hold her, and Julia is interested in all the "new" things that happen with a baby, like nursing and diaper changing.  She can't wait for me to give Arielle her first bath, so she can help. :)
 The rest of our Sunday was very low-key and restful.  Jim and I ended up both taking naps, and we sent the kids outside to play for most of the afternoon.  In the evening, my parents came by to see the baby, and Dad ended up getting takeout for us from our favorite local seafood/BBQ place.  Those first meals after having a baby are SO yummy . . . finally I have enough room to fit in some good food without getting heartburn! :)
So, that is the (very long-winded) version of the story.  I am so very grateful that everything went well and our sweet Arielle Grace arrived safely.  Also that my blood pressure stayed in a safe range and didn't do anything crazy there at the end!  We are enjoying our "babymoon" and it's been such a blessing to have Jim home all week, and friends bringing in meals . . . we're getting quite spoiled!!!  I love that my main job right now is to cuddle a sweet, warm baby girl, and that I can take my time getting back to "normal" (which I'm sure will be a new normal!).  Hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Look who came to stay!

Our sweet Arielle Grace arrived early yesterday morning (November 9) after another very speedy labor.  So thankful all went well, I was able to have the waterbirth I wanted even with everything going so fast, and that she is here, safe and sound!!  She is beautiful and absolutely precious.
We are pronouncing her name "Ah-ree-ell;" it means "lioness of God" in Hebrew.  We pray that she will be a strong and courageous woman of God someday!

Here are the stats: 7 lbs. 8 oz. (she was our biggest baby, beating Josiah by 4 oz. :)), 19.5" long, born at 3:37 am.  As you can imagine, her siblings adore her.  Well, we ALL do! :)

I'm heading back to snuggle in bed with her now, but just wanted to let everyone know she is here!  I hope to post the birth story in a day or two.  And more pictures, of course. :)  Thanks to all who were praying for the safe arrival of our baby!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

38.5 weeks . . . still waiting!

Today I had my 38 week appt.  Bad news is that my blood pressure is still high, in spite of all I've been doing to try to lower it.  Good news is that it was much lower when I was lying down.  The "official" reading Sherry put on my chart was 149/72, but there were several other readings that were higher or lower.  She sent me home with one of her b/p cuffs so I can monitor it a couple times a day at home, and see how it is here.  Since I don't have other signs of preeclampsia, we are going to continue keeping a close eye on it but not stressing out too much.  The plan for this week is to increase the herbal tinctures I'm taking, continue taking the magnesium, and take my b/p daily, as mentioned above.  Baby's heart rate was 120s-140s, same as last week.

Now for the fun part . . . she offered to check for dilation, and also to give me some evening primrose oil to see if we can get something going, which I was happy to agree to.  I'm 3+ cm dilated and "very stretchy," and baby's head is very low.  She thinks I am likely to go into labor very soon, and progress quickly as in the past, so I was naturally pretty happy to hear that. :)  I have "orders" to call as soon as anything seems to be happening, and she said she doesn't think I will make it till my next appt, next Thursday.  I hope she is right. :)

Ever since I left her house, I've been having random contractions and baby feels even lower than before.  Not sure if that's the result of the exam and/or the evening primrose oil, but it feels like things are moving into place.  While I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, I really feel like it's going to be sooner than later.

I "cheated" for supper and picked up a couple rotisserie chickens on the way home, and made some baked potatoes to go along with them.  It was yummy and fast, and I didn't have to put much work into the meal, which was nice, as I didn't really feel like cooking.  Jim has blown up the birth pool "just in case," and we'll see if anything ends up happening tonight.  I'll be sure to update as soon as possible if baby arrives . . . otherwise I will be posting a 39+ week update next week. :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

38 Weeks...Almost :)

Okay, I don't have a new picture to put up with this post, although if I get a chance to take one tomorrow, I will add it then.  Today has been a lazy day and I am still in comfy clothes (aka PJs :)) so no picture right now!  But I did want to update about my appt. yesterday, since it was a bit more "interesting" than most.

The short story is that my blood pressure jumped to 139/90, which was disappointing (but not surprising given my past history).  It was 128/86 when lying down, but still a concern because of the higher numbers when I was sitting upright.  The long story is that Sherry decided to order some blood labs to check for other signs of possible pre-eclampsia.  So after a longer-than-usual appt. with her, wherein she spent some time looking over my records from the past 2 pregnancies, as well as consulting with a couple other midwives on the phone, the kids and I headed back to town and to our local hospital for the blood draw.  On the way, we stopped by the health food store to pick up some herbal tinctures that should help with bringing the blood pressure down.  Now to clarify, these b/p numbers are not super scary.  90 is sort of the borderline number where they start to get more concerned, so that is why she wanted to have the bloodwork done, to rule out other possible issues.  My numbers got to just about the same place with both Julia and Josiah at the last appt. or two before they were born, so I am not really worried, but I appreciated her desire to cover the bases and be safe.

The good news is, the bloodwork results came back without any major warning signs for pre-eclampsia, so most likely this is simply "pregnancy induced hypertension."  I have "midwife's orders ;)" to get a lot more rest, eat tons of protein, and take the herbal tinctures, and we will see if there's any change for the better at my appt. next Weds.  If my b/p should get higher, we would be looking at consulting with an OB and possibly doing a hospital birth, but Lord-willing the steps we are taking will help, and everything will stay under control.  Pray about that with me, if you think of it!!

We had a neat little blessing when I was at the hospital for the blood draw, so I wanted to share about that, too.  The boys were happy to stay in the waiting room and play on my iPod, but Julia was acting a bit worried and really wanted to come in with me when I got the blood drawn, so I asked the nurse if it was okay.  She was fine with it, and almost the first thing she said to Julia was, "It's so early in the day, I'm guessing you must be homeschooled?" (in a very friendly way :)).  When we said yes, she said she would make this into a little learning time for Julia, and she carefully explained every step of the process to her!  Julia is fascinated by medical stuff like that, so in no time at all she didn't seem worried anymore, but just interested in all the nurse was doing.  Thankfully I don't mind getting blood drawn, and I have good veins for it , so it wasn't a big deal for me, either. :)  Julia got to help wipe down my vein/arm area before the needle was put in, and the nurse even put some of the stretchy wrap around her arm like I had around mine, after we were all done (I thought it was funny that they use "vet wrap" now instead of putting a band-aid on over the gauze!).  I really appreciated so much how the nurse took the extra time to give Julia a sort of "hands-on" lesson.  I have been amazed by how many people we meet who are homeschool-friendly; we rarely get a disapproving look or word if we happen to be out somewhere during school hours, and I am grateful.

So other than all the b/p stuff, my appt. went fine.  I'm measuring right at 38 weeks, and baby's heart rate was anywhere from 120s-140s.  Baby is still in a good position for delivery, and not likely to change, although it sometimes moves from left to right a bit, but it's definitely hanging out most on the left side.  I'm still feeling lots of movement, especially at night.  I had quite a few contractions 2 nights ago, but mostly Braxton-Hicks and not really painful.  Still, it's nice to know my body is getting ready. :)  Heartburn has been minimal for quite a while now--I still get some daily, but can usually keep it at bay with a few Tums.  SO thankful for that.  I've been drinking tons of pregnancy tea and getting excited that I probably only have a couple weeks or less left of pregnancy!  Looking forward to meeting this little person very soon!! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

37 Weeks!!!

Sorry for the wonky angle of this pic!  Julia was my photographer and she got creative. ;)  But out of the three pics she took, I liked this one the best, so I will use it.

As of yesterday, I am now officially past the 37 week mark, and very happy to be here!  This means I can now have a homebirth legally, so it's always a relief to reach this milestone.  Anytime Baby wants to come now is fine with me. :)  I'm still not super uncomfortable most of the time, just moving slower and starting to waddle more.  I've been having a bit more swelling over the past few days, mostly in my ankles and feet, so I am trying to guzzle lots of water and pregnancy tea to help with that, and today I stayed home from church to keep my feet up.  I had to do that toward the end of my last two pregnancies as well, and although I don't like missing church, I know I need to take care of myself and Baby, too, which sometimes means taking the time to rest.  Soon enough, Baby will be here and we will be finding our new normal, and eventually getting back into the swing of regular life again!

This past Tuesday, Sherry and the other midwife who will be assisting came over for our home visit. I was happy that my b/p was back down (no surprise since I am always more relaxed at home); it was 119/76.  The previous week it had been higher, but I can't remember exactly what it was.  Nothing super bad, just something to keep an eye on.  I might have already blogged about that.  Baby's heart rate was in the 120s-130s.  Baby is still in the LOA position (best position for birth), so I am happy about that!  We had blown up the birth pool that I'm hoping to use, so I showed them that and we discussed my hopes for the birth a little bit.  Basically I just have instructions to call as SOON as I think something is happening, since my last 2 labors were only about 2 hours each. :)  So far I haven't really seen any signs of impending labor, but things started very fast without a whole lot of warning when I had Josiah, so I know that could happen again.  Or this one might be totally different!  (But I still hope it is fairly fast. :))  My next appt. will be this coming Thursday, unless Baby arrives before then.

I wrote the above paragraphs yesterday, then Jim and the kids got home from church and I got busy with supper and family time, and didn't get back to this post till now.  It is so hard to find uninterrupted time to write these days!  Today (Monday) I am up early with more energy than I've had in a while.  I hope that is a sign that Baby might come sooner than later. :)  We will see, though!

Last week we took a quick trip to a larger town and I bought some flannel at Joann's.  My plan was/is to make some gender-neutral burp cloths . . . I have lots of boyish and girlish flannel, but wanted something that would work for either.  Anyway, I found two cute prints--one seems a little more boyish but I loved it, so I decided to use it anyway. :)  And then I got thinking about how much fabric I had (a yard of each) and realized I could do more than just burp cloths . . . so I made a Boppy cover. :)  I love it!
I didn't even use the Boppy much with the last two kids, for nursing anyway, but since I'm way out of practice with that, I'm thinking I may need it again this time around.  Plus it's a nice place to prop a baby when my arms need a break, or for a picture . . . and it was due for a fresh new look. :)  I found tutorials for making covers on Pinterest and kinda winged it using those as a guideline.  Next time I would give myself a little more seam allowance so it didn't fit quite so tight, but I didn't want it to be too loose, so overall I'm happy with it.

I was thinking it's about time for people to post their guesses for when Baby will arrive, and what the gender/weight/etc. will be!  For reference, Sam was born at 37 weeks on the dot and weighed 5 lb. 14 oz.  Julia arrived at 37.5 weeks and weighted 6.5 lbs, and Josiah was 39+ weeks (almost to my due date, but my dates were a bit iffy with him so I'm not really sure if my due date was accurate) and weighed 7 lb. 4 oz.  I can't remember the length of any of them and am too lazy to go look it up, but you can take a guess on that too, if you want. :)  My "official" due date is November 15, and my dates are pretty certain this time, so you can keep that in mind when you're guessing.

Hopefully I will have another update to post by next weekend, whether it's a 38 week update or baby news!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

35 Weeks

Here is another update, finally!  I hit the 35 week mark on Saturday.  It is super exciting to realize that in less than 2 weeks I'll be in the safe zone for a homebirth, and that hopefully we will be welcoming our little one in about a month or less!  We are getting so close, and I am getting READY!  I have to say though, that I think this has been my easiest and least uncomfortable pregnancy of the four.  I've gained more weight than I would like, but I haven't had much back pain, really bad heartburn (except for a handful of times), or leg cramps, etc.  My swelling hasn't been bad, either.  I still don't love pregnancy, but I am so very thankful that this one has been so smooth and straightforward.  And I'm praying that the labor and delivery will be the same way. :)

Here are a couple pictures from the past two Sundays.  First, here I am at 34 weeks . . . I got Jim to be in the picture with me. :)  I doubt I could get him to pose for actual "pregnancy shots" like some couples take, with his hands on my belly and all that--he's just not the type!--but it was fun to get a regular picture of the two of us.

And here I am at 35 weeks:

And at this point it's fun looking at my dressy maternity clothes and wondering how many more Sundays I will need to wear them. :)  For the first time ever, I've had so many choices that I haven't gotten sick of them yet!  It's been fun to see what I can come up with by mixing and matching.

I had my 35 week visit with Sherry on Saturday, 10/11. Everything continues to look good.  Baby's heart rate was in the 130s/140s and I was measuring between 34/35 weeks.  My b/p was 120-something over 77 (I think--I forgot to write it down).  At least I know it was in the normal range. :)  I will have another appt. this coming Weds.--appts. are now every week, and even though it won't have been a full week since my last visit, this was the way it worked out best with factoring in Sherry's home visit the following week.

I think I finally have collected all the birth supplies we need, including some that weren't on the list, but might be handy to have.  The only big things I still need to get are diapers and wipes.  I've been feeling the need to "nest" this week, and have been doing some cleaning and organizing.  I've also been working on stocking the freezer with some meals over the past month or so.  As of tonight, I have 5 casseroles and 1 bag of beef stew starter mix in there.  I want to make some stuffed shells later this week, and maybe some bread and cookies or bars, too.  It's nice to know I have about a week's worth of meals ready to go, anyway.  My mom also brought some granola for the freezer, so we have some breakfast options too!

I wrote all that on Monday night, never got it posted, and now it's Wednesday, so I figured I might as
well update on today's appt. too.  I was feeling really tired today (up a lot to use the bathroom last night), so I asked Jim if he would mind going with the kids and me.  He didn't mind, and it was really nice to have him with us.  Baby's heart rate today was 120s-130s (I think), and position is still good.  My b/p was up a bit, I think it was something like 124/82.  Not a huge concern, but something to watch, as my b/p has a history of getting higher at the end of pregnancy.  I've been having more swelling this week, especially in my feet and ankles, but also some in my fingers.  I can still wear my rings most of the time, so that's nice.

So next Tuesday, Sherry and the assisting midwife will come for the home visit.  It'll be nice not to have to drive anywhere for that appt! :)

We stopped at Walmart on the way home and bought some diapers and wipes.  They ended up being a really good price after coupons and rebate offers.  And I think that's the last thing I needed to get before baby's arrival!  We also bought a little Thanksgiving onesie just because. :)  I'm blogging this from my iPod (while keeping my feet up!) and I have a pic of the onesie on here, but can't figure out how to post it on the blog.  Maybe I'll be able to add it later, or I'm sure eventually I'll post a pic of Baby wearing it. Now hopefully Baby will actually arrive before Thanksgiving... :)

Well, I guess I will stop chattering for now...blogging from an iPod can be challenging. :)  I hope to get a chance to post in my regular blog soon!  Till next time...thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

33 Weeks

Okay, this is actually my 32 week update--but since I am 33 weeks today, it pretty much counts for this week, too. :)  I forgot to update about my 30 week appt . . . so here is a quick recap!  But first, a picture.  This one was taken last Sunday at 32 weeks, 1 day.  I apologize for how foggy it looks!  It was a hazy day where we had had some rain off and on, and it showed up in the pic more than I expected!

So anyway, on to my updates!  At my 30 week visit, Sherry re-checked my iron levels and they were back up in the normal range.  All that Floradix must have helped!  I am continuing with taking it and will through the end of pregnancy (and beyond if needed).  My b/p was up a little bit, but not so much as to be concerning.  Baby's heart rate was in the 120s-140s. 

My 32 week visit was this past Thursday (which was actually 32 weeks, 5 days).  B/p was up again a little bit, but was back in a normal range when she retested it while I was lying down.  I remember that it varied with position in one or two of my previous pregnancies, so that wasn't really surprising.  Baby's heart rate was mostly in the 130s.  We discussed things like water temperature for the tub, a few other supplies I needed to get, etc.  I bought a few more things today, and I think now I have almost everything I need except diapers and a few other little odds and ends.  

Sherry recommended really working on eating plenty of protein (and I've been working on eating more red meat anyway, for the iron), and getting more exercise to help with any possible blood pressure issues.  It was the motivation I needed, as I've really slacked off on exercise of any kind over the past few months.  So yesterday Julia and I took a mile long walk down the road, and today our whole family went to the bog and walked the trail with some friends, for a 1.5+ mile loop.  I'm going to try to get a mile daily, if possible--or at least 5 days a week.  I've gained about 30 lbs. so far and I'm hoping the exercise might help me not gain TOO much more!  Plus I know it'll help get me into better shape for labor.  

Baby is still super wiggly, and I am curious whether we have another super active girlie in there (like Julia) or just an active boy.  Heart rate is more like what I would think of for a boy, but my other kids' heart rates didn't necessarily follow that "rule," so we will see.  Julia is hoping for a sister and I think it would be fun to have 2 girls and 2 boys . . . and to get to use my girl clothes again . . . but I will obviously be happy either way. :)   

So, my next appt. will be 2 weeks from today, on a Saturday, which is different than usual, but the way it worked out best around some prior commitments that Sherry has.  I'll be exactly 35 weeks then.  Around 36 weeks, she will do a home visit . . . then at 37 weeks I'll be in safe territory for a homebirth, and I'll have weekly appts. until whenever the baby decides to come!  It seems like the time is really going by fast, and I am thankful.  It won't be too long until we get to meet this new little person. :)