...what special things would you do during it?
This is a question I've been asking myself a lot recently, because I think this is my last pregnancy, and I don't want to get to the end of it and think, "Oh, rats. I wish I would have done____________ while I was still pregnant, but it's too late now, and I'll never get another chance." I don't want to have any regrets, you know?
So, I'm asking for input--from friends who have been pregnant before and those who have never been. What's important to you to do during pregnancy? What are some things I might be overlooking that would be meaningful to do during this time? What should I do now so that I don't have regrets later? Similarly, is there anything specific that I should consider doing during labor and delivery since this is presumably my last chance at that?
Any thoughts?? :)
I'm happy to announce that, since my last pregnancy update, I have been motivated to do more in the way of actual preparation for this birth than I had been during all the previous months since I discovered I was being blessed again with a child! For example, I went to Bath & Body Works (something I literally had not done in years) and bought this little treat for myself...
Oh, and I actually put it in my bag to take to the hospital, too, so now there's actually something in that backpack - what progress! ;-) In reality, I also packed a bag with some basic toiletries, so at least now I'll be able to brush my teeth and put chapstick on my lips while I'm in the hospital. :)
I also purchased a few other things: a backpack that I'll use as a diaper bag (being able to use a backpack rather than a conventional diaper bag that hangs over one shoulder means I'll be able to use my hands more effectively even while carrying a diaper bag--a must at this stage of life!); a bath towel and hand towel that I'll ask my neighbor to use to sew a hooded towel for this baby (each of my kids have their own, and this is a special tradition that we must keep up); a pack of newborn diapers and a big box of size one diapers; and, most importantly, a coming-home-from-the-hospital outfit for this baby! :)
Actually, I bought two possibilities for that, because one was on sale for $3, so I didn't feel too extravagant about buying a second one. ;-) I wasn't sure which one Jeff would prefer, so I got them both. Moriah, Shav, and Tobin were with me when I got them; and Moriah wanted to hold the outfits. She has asked me about a million times since then if she can put the clothes on "my new baby" (as she so possessively states) and then snuggle with him. I've said "yes" only slightly fewer than a million times. ;-) As sweet as it is to see her anticipation and delight at the thought of having a little baby brother, I do get a little weary of having the same conversation so many times. ;-)
My back continues to be bothersome, but not all the time. I think overall it's a little better than it had been, and I'm hopeful enough to wish for more improvement in the near future but realistic enough to know that it might not come until after the birth. Either way, it's OK.
The most painful moments of recent days came on Sunday afternoon when we were getting ready to go to a friend's house to go swimming. I was in the kitchen, preparing some food to take along, when a foot cramp hit me with such strength that I literally could not move my left foot. I felt like that foot was simultaneously paralyzed while also tormenting me with incredibly powerful pain. It was ridiculous, and my kids got to see it all! ;-) It took a while, but the muscles finally relaxed and the cramp eased. Later, however, at the friend's house, it struck again but wasn't quite as ferocious as it had been here at home. Since then, it hasn't happened again; but sometimes as I am waking from sleep, I find myself, even without full awareness, stretching my legs and feet to try to prevent a cramp from hitting me. :)
This past Wednesday, August 5, I had an appointment with my midwife Marty; and it was another fairly short, routine visit (which I'm continually grateful for since I realize that many complications could be occurring that would require more intensive medical attention). My weight was 180.5 pounds, my blood pressure was 122/70, and the baby's heart rate was 156--higher than it had been the past several times, but Marty said she wasn't surprised at that because he was in the middle of doing his morning exercises. ;-) As a matter of fact, she was measuring my tummy and feeling for his position; and when she said that she is pretty sure he's head-down, I told her that I agree with her because of the way I feel him kicking me up at my right ribs. Just then, he gave a powerful kick that she could clearly see; and she laughed and told me I was right about his position. He gave another movement or two that was obvious to her, so she didn't think it strange that his heart rate was higher than normal. :)
She asked me how I felt about my size, and I told her I felt HUGE! ;-) She inquired about what my biggest baby had been (Shav was just under 9 pounds), and I wondered what she was thinking about the size of this baby (or me!) but I didn't ask her. She also encouraged me to keep drinking plenty of water. We talked about my back pain, and she said I could take Tylenol whenever I needed it (which I've only done once, but still, it's nice to know I can if I get desperate). :) She said heat on my back might help, if I could tolerate it, being as I'm already hot. ;-) (Speaking of heat, it was something like 68 degrees here today, which made my kids feel cold and caused several of them to put on sweatshirts, but which felt wonderfully refreshing to me!) :)
All in all, it was a relaxed, happy, pleasant appointment; and my next one will probably be even better, since I'll get to have a quick ultrasound--ostensibly to check the baby's position, but my real reason for wanting it is just to get a glimpse of him again!! :)
Well, back to where we started in this post...
Before this family (as we looked today when I snapped a quick photo)...
If you have something to say, I'm all ears. :)