**Waiting. It’s such a strange liminal space, but now that you’re so close it almost feels unreal. Hard to imagine you’ll be with us soon. I’m so ready to meet you and start our life together. I imagine your face, your hands, your hair, the sound of your voice. I can’t wait to bring you in to the World and know that whatever happens in the process, we’ll get to meet in the end. See you soon baby.**
These final weeks have been both challenging and exciting. We’ve almost made it, we’re so close and can’t believe that she could be here any day and we’ll get to meet her face to face. She’s moving constantly and the Braxton Hicks contractions are coming around the clock. I don’t sleep super well anymore, but I don’t feel especially tired either, I guess this is my body preparing to be up all night—ready for the baby/boob party to begin!!
I’m still active everyday and I’m certainly grateful for that! I try to do 30 minutes of exercise each morning, either light weight lifting, home yoga practice or prenatal yoga at a great studio in Oakland called Barefoot Movement. In fact, through prenatal yoga, I think I finally found a studio here that is the right fit for me. The teachers are amazing and experienced but they don’t take themselves too seriously and are all so humble! I’m also continuing to walk our dogs in the hills near our home daily and although I’ve slowed down, it still feels good. I’ve said it in my past posts as well, but I think movement has had a tremendous impact on my pregnancy and I’m so glad I pushed myself to move through it, even on the really tough days! Hopefully this will benefit me in labor as well– TBD!
Third Trimester Self Care Tips: Don’t forget, birth is like a marathon and just like a big race day you wouldn’t just jump in without some serious preparation:
– Start or continue acupuncture– I have a good friend that does acupuncture and I’ve been seeing her weekly since my 36th week. Admittedly, I’ve tried acupuncture a few times in my life and I didn’t notice any huge shifts, outside of general relaxation, but after researching the benefits for pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, it seems like a no-brainer. For example, acupuncture is helpful in reducing back and pelvic pain can move a baby out of breech position and prep the body for labor. According to fertile care for women, “Current research indicates there was an overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions, 31% reduction in the epidural rate; 32% reduction in emergency cesarean delivery; and a 9% increase in normal vaginal birth for women who used acupuncture for pre-birth.”
– Start or continue chiropractic sessions weekly– I truly look forward to my weekly chiro visits. I always feel less stressed and sore when I leave and the woman I see has such a deep awareness of the body and always updates me on our babes position, it’s so cool!
– Stop working! In America we don’t value taking time off before we give birth. We barely value taking time off after, it’s really mind-blowing! Many women work right up to going into labor and I wonder if that has something to do with frequency of interventions in our culture as well? Hard to know for sure, but my midwives strongly recommended I take a full 4 weeks off before my due date. I opted for two weeks off and although I had some initial guilt about even that much time, I realized that these are the last days I’ll ever have without a baby. Also, as someone who deals with anxiety I know that I need time away from work to get my head in the game. This is also the only time in my life that I haven’t been actively looking for my next gig so that freedom to just relax, take care of myself and mentally prep for this huge life change and what I may want to do next is amazing.
– Perineum massage– I won’t get to graphic on this one, just google it :). 1 minute per day, every day with the help of your birth partner. Fingers crossed it’s beneficial.
– Sit on a labor ball- whenever possible, sit on a yoga ball to get your pelvis aligned and baby moving in to a good position. I also love the movement that it provides in my hips and relief from lower back pain. Everything in this video feels good if y0u need inspiration on the ball!
Supplements I’m Using:
– Still taking prenatals (love these by Parsley Health) along with high quality fish oil daily.
– I’ve added vitamin C to strengthen my immunity, I really like the whole foods spray from Garden of Life that also contains bioflavonoids and a whole host of organic foods.
– Doubled my probiotics to make sure baby’s getting that good flora on the way out, or, if something happens and a c-section is necessary that she’ll still get a ton in my breast milk to set her up for a lifetime of good health. This is a great article on the importance of creating good gut health from day 1!
– Evening primrose oil- My midwives recommended starting EPO at 37 weeks to help ripen and prepare/thin the cervix. Definitely do some research as there are mixed opinions out there, but nothing that suggests it’s dangerous to baby.
– Red Raspberry leaf tea- Is said to make labor shorter and contractions more effective by toning the uterus, some research even suggests that women who drink RRL tea frequently are less likely to be overdue or go in to labor prematurely.
Labor Prep Diet
Now that I’ve learned as much as I possibly can about labor, the only thing that seems clear is that anything can happen, so the more fueled and hydrated my body can be, the better. I’m starting to cook some of my favorite meals to have ready to go when baby is here, and I’m staying super hydrated with coconut water and water with ACV which is the only thing that has helped my heartburn. I’m also drinking bone broth, grass fed kefir for extra probiotics and taking collagen to hopefully help speed up postpartum recovery. Who knows what will happen but I feel good knowing I’m as ready as I can be.
HypnoBirthing- the Mongan Method
So I haven’t honestly gone all in on this one because Wyatt and I a general birth class for ten weeks and just couldn’t squeeze a second one in. I did read the book though and I’m listening to the affirmations and meditations online, and I’ve gotta say, I do feel more relaxed more quickly each time I do it.
The Fourth Trimester– Just starting this, but seems to have some great advice for those first days with baby!
Also pleasure reading a great murder mystery called Tips for Living and just finished Little Fires Everywhere which was also great!
Baby Shower Take Two!
Two of my friends, Jen and Jules, threw me an amazing shower at our house in Oakland and my super talented friend Caitlin (@CruCait) took some amazing photos. Both showers were so special, but this one was extra amazing because the food was OFF the HOOK! We did a brunch theme and everyone brought something tasty, I ate so much!
We didn’t play games at the shower, but I did ask friends to create a scrapbook for me of positive affirmations for my labor book, scrap book style. Everyone got so in to it, I totally recommend you try it if you’re looking for a fun activity that is fun, but not awkward for mama to be or guests. Here’s hoping that having something from all of the amazing people in my life will help take my mind off the pain. More on that soon…I hope!
All the food!!