Monday, February 14, 2011

38 Weeks and Going Strong

That's right. We are 38 weeks and right smack dab in the middle of could-come-anytime territory. I haven't really been feeling anything I think might be contractions or seen any other signs of an impending labor (I'll save you the TMI details of what those might be), so I don't expect her to be making her appearance any time soon, but you never know. My midwife will be doing an internal exam next week so we'll see if we've made any "progress" but I won't be putting too much stock in any information that comes from it. The truth is you can walk around 2, 3, 4 centimeters dilated for weeks or go from 0 - 10 in a few hours. Which is why I've been declining the internals up until this point. No need to give myself false hope or unnecessary discouragement.

So, what's Ms. Lily doing in there this week?

"Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb."

Her movement has stayed pretty consistent this week. I feel her wiggling around in there or trying to stretch out but she doesn't have much room to do anything more than that. We're pretty much able to figure out which way she is laying now. Well, Jay is better at it than me.

This week I was able to get in with one of the counselors who works at my psychiatrist's office. It was soooo nice to talk to a professional. I really needed it! Between going on the medication, some family drama, and the ever present financial stress, I was in some pretty bad shape. But I felt much better after leaving her office. She encouraged me not to think too long term right now. It's "game time" right now and I need to be focused on creating a safe and calm environment for Lily to be born into. Just like an animal will delay it's labor and birth if it doesn't feel that it is in a safe environment, my body won't go into labor easily if it feels it's not safe.

So, I've really started listening to my Hypnobabies CD's more steadily. I've been focusing on the Fear Clearing track the most which helps a lot. It leads you into a deep state of self-hypnosis and then helps you establish and strengthen a concept they call the Bubble of Peace. Yes, it's kind of dorky, but in reality it's a very helpful cognitive tool. Once you've established your Bubble of Peace then you start examining the fears you have for the birthing time. After you've established what the fear is that you are working with in that session, then you release it and watch it float away. It's amazing how acknowledging the fear, looking it straight in the eye and watching it leave your life can really break the hold it has on you. The program suggests doing this track at least once a week, but I've been doing it almost every night. I think it's the most important part of the program for me right now. Jay also took the time to rip all the CD's into the computer for me so that I can load them onto my iPod. He's already such a wonderful Birth Partner. I'm so thankful for his help.

This week was pretty hectic! On Thursday night I learned that my bestest friend was headed to the hospital with what looked like real contractions and real labor! By Friday morning she was holding her beautiful daughter in her arms! I was (and am) so very, very excited for her and her husband. Even though her husband is currently stationed over seas, he was able to be on the phone with them during delivery and flew home just a few days later. They are now soaking up their time as a new family! I couldn't be happier for her and am trying to give her as much space as possible to enjoy her time with her husband while he's able to be here with her and her new baby girl. I can't wait till I can get down there to meet her little one and have her meet Lily.

Saturday was my mom's birthday. It's a big one, although I won't divulge which one. She was pretty anxious about it and kept insisting that she didn't even want to celebrate it. But you know me, that's not an option! We don't run from things in this family, we take the bull by the horns, look it straight in the eye, and say, "Bring it on!" Originally I'd wanted to throw this big surprise party, but knowing I was going to be just a few weeks from my due date I knew that would be hard to pull off. So, I decided to compromise. I insisted that she celebrate, but kept it pretty simple. I told her the week before that I was taking her out to lunch so to not make any plans. No matter how hard she tried to get out of it, I wouldn't let her. What she didn't know was that my Childhood BFF had made arrangements to join us. There are so many birthdays spent with me, my mom and April that it felt only appropriate for us girls to take her out this time. So, I picked up April up on Saturday morning and we got to mom's house a few minutes before I'd planned. She was super surprised and so excited! We loaded up and headed to PF Changs which is one of mom's favorites! It was so much fun to have some girl time!

I'd also called all my brothers and asked them to make time to have dinner together at my house that night. Levi came down from Asheville and we all had a blast. There's something about having our entire family under one roof that just feels so good. Even if we don't all get along all the time, it's still fun.

So, since Saturday had been such a hectic day, Jay insisted asked nicely, that I take all day Sunday to just rest and relax. As much as I wanted to run errands and do chores around the house, I knew he was right and if I was going to make it though the week at work, I'd have to conserve as much energy as possible. He's so good at helping me do what I know I need to do even when I don't want to do it.

So, speaking of Jay, how's he doing?

He's wonderful as always. He's getting really anxious for Lily to come out so that he can hold her and help care for her. He knows it's becoming a strain on me physically and emotionally to carry her around all the time and he's looking forward to sharing that responsibility. He loves to rub my belly and talk to her. He loves to try to play with her by pushing on her to see if she'll move or kick him. I'm not sure if she thinks that's a fun game or if she just gets annoyed with him. I guess we'll see when she comes out.

He has been such a wonderful partner this entire time, but especially during these last few weeks. Pretty much once I come home from work, all I have to do is come home and plop down on the couch. He takes care of making or picking up dinner, cleaning up, and taking care of the puppy. It's so nice to have such a wonderful partner. I know I am so blessed and I so appreciate his help especially since I don't even have to ask him to do it.

Well, I think that's it for now folks! Coming up next week, a sick puppy, a nasty cold, Valentine's Day, and the results of an internal exam! It's a busy, busy week!

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