Life With Nine Kids

Friday, June 7, 2013

39 Weeks: Mama and Baby Update, Birth Preparation, Nesting

Mama Belly
I love the change between 36 and 38 weeks and then 38 to 40 weeks. I don't think I'd realize how cool and distinct the change is without having done this so many times! I love getting big! At 36 weeks (safe for a home birth by some people's standards but still pretty darn early) I think to myself 'baby would probably be fine at 36 weeks', then by 38 weeks I'm like 'okay NOW baby is fine.' Then by 39 weeks I'm like 'NOW THIS is what a baby-belly is supposed to look like.' Then by 40 weeks I'm like 'ohhh this is ripe, oh yes, I remember this now." :) 

Last week I asked Ricky if I was big enough yet and he said I ask that every time around 37-38 weeks and then he added that I was almost indeed ready. :) We didn't do a plaster belly cast yet, it's coming in the mail today. Every pregnancy I try on the other ones we made to see the shape and how it's different or the same. Some babies lay to the left, some to the right. It's cool; this one's feet are on the right, body to the left, head down and chin feels tucked.

Nesting Mama
The last two weeks I/we did our normal stuff plus painted the kitchen incl. cupboards, sewed/ hung curtains, cleaned half the basement, washed all baby stuff/got the cloth diapers ready, brought the changing table up from basement (rearranged bedroom), got birth and baby supplies ready, ran all the kids around to various parties/sleepovers Etc., hit up the playground parks 5 times for playing fun, got the teens to their youth group camp teen leader training 3 days in a row, cleaned the back porch, cleaned/de-cluttered the most important parts of garage, got our starter tomato plants in the ground finally, made a mini obstacle course for the kids, mowed/weed whacked around our property, painted picnic table with kids, got all the laundry caught up (because Charlotte and I are laundry ninjas with mad skills!).

Me with the painted kitchen cupboards, sewed cupboard curtains (I took out the old cheap 70's fake wood laminate doors everyone hates to have in their home down and opted for the very old-fashioned kitchen curtain concept! The doors were painted over the laminate but paint on laminate chips/peels after a while.)

Below is the fabric that I used on the lower cupboard shelves, you can't see it at all in the pictures above. It's very country-cute and vibrant without being overwhelming. The yellow ties in our table and OLD counter tops. I picked colors I wouldn't tire of. The upper cupboard is a gray polka dot curtain that is super flattering in person.The roses below that look purplish are actually gray so it ties in our gray-white kitchen brick.

Pregnancy, Chiropractic, Nutrition, Vitamin D
This pregnancy has not been uncomfortable (most aren't too bad at all --but Everett's was rough). I think this is easier than Everett's because of all the chiropractic care I've had over the past three years, particularly the chiropractic care I had while actually pregnant with Everett. I had bad pinched nerves with him and sciatica. Getting my vit. D levels up is a huge help too. It's sad I suffered through so much pelvic/hip/joint pain with Everett (and after having him) until finally discovering my bones were softening and it was due to vit D deficiency. I had "adult rickets" which is, thank goodness, reversible. I felt so much better after discovering that; before it was corrected I felt 90 years old and I was in pain everywhere (but especially so in my hips and pelvis)! I also tested for low thyroid hormone (hypothyroid) which I now take "natural" thyroid hormone for. I've had it checked four times during this pregnancy. My care provider (who is not a MD but works along side one) actually has had an unassisted birth too! I had my iron tested a couple months ago and it was low so I'm on an iron supplement too. 

Low Thyroid and Pregnancy
I had to dig a little for info on low thyroid and pregnancy, it's a seriously under diagnosed condition (so is postpartum thyroid issues!). If I would have known I would have been tested several pregnancies ago. If you found me by searching for this condition my advice is: have a practitioner that listens, seriously consider a practitioner that supports natural and conventional medicine, test vit. D levels, get thyroid panel drawn at least 3 times while pregnant and then again 2-3 weeks postpartum. If taking thyroid hormone consider having smaller pills so you can adjust your thyroid dosage if needed. I have 15mg pills so if I feel too much or too little thyroid I'm not stuck with a huge pill; I control my own dosage if needed and while waiting for more test results. In addition I learned not to worry; many, many healthy babies are born to thyroid problem mothers. It's not optimal to grow a baby while your thyroid is off, but don't let the internet freak you out either. I sprinkle kelp (for iodine) on my hand and eat a little every day or so; don't overdo it though. Iodine helps regulate thyroid function. Blueberries are supper good for regulating thyroid function. Reduce intake of foods that inhibit thyroid production like broccoli, spinach, peanuts... here's a list. I still eat those foods but I watch the amount and eat other foods instead.
Do-it-yourself mamas: you may consider doing a mail order thyroid test. I know very little about them though, and some say they are not that accurate. You need to research, I'm just putting the info out there that they exist.

Food Nesting
Today, not surprisingly, I woke up pregnant still. So I got to work! I had a double batch of chili in the crock pot by 7:30am. It's chock full of beans and pureed peppers and onions for lots of healthy eating. The precooking phase begins now. I'm going to try to get some freezer meals done this weekend. Taco bake, chicken and broccoli, chili, banana breakfast cake and muffins, pumpkin muffins and whatever else I can think of. Nothing sounds good to me. I hate cooking when I don't have a clue as to what to cook. I usually have a hard time if nothing sounds good -my inspiration usually comes from hunger!

Looks like I still have time to get some other food/supplies we still need to get to make life easier the first couple weeks with new baby:
paper plates
frozen waffles
pancake mix
a truck load of bulk yogurt
a truck load of cereal and milk
a truck load of baby carrots
frozen pizza
copious bags of frozen fruit
other FOOD (lol you need lots of food on hand in a big family)
I need to work on my list. 'Food' is very nondescript. I wish there was something called "food" and it could be healthy, yummy and served for weeks at a time. lol.

MORE on Nesting:
Last week was super-duper nesting, cleaning, organizing week also. I was so exhausted when this week rolled around that I thought I was going to collapse or have a baby. I was also afraid nesting was over for me. I was thankfully wrong! Also, last week Ricky was away in New York on business. I had 'practice labor' for days that felt reallllly promising to produce a baby soon but no baby came. My body and baby are both getting ready and that is excellent, baby is low and head down and getting ready but that doesn't mean anything other than my uterus is smart and getting ready! (Layla and Sage were both born at 42 weeks; others were born pretty close to due date, Everett on his actual 40 week due date!)
Every two days the theme of my attitude changes: overwhelmed and exhausted (mostly due to the toddler), excited, nesting/productive, content. Last two days was nesting and content. Hopefully this weekend is content and productive too!

I have a long list of "to-do's" but overall things are ready. Every day I wake up without the baby in my arms is another day to get more done!
I want to paint part of the back porch, we all have more mowing to do (Charlotte and I love mowing!), later we drop off teens at a party...the house needs cleaned again so I hope to dust and scrub and mop this weekend. I hope!
On a normal week I'm usually an obsessed OCD/ADD busy, crazy, house-cleaner/re-organizer/crafter/decorator/yard worker, but it takes on a whole new meaning by this time of a pregnancy. lol.

Baby Supplies / Birth Supplies / Mama Supplies

I'm excited that the baby birth basket is ready to go: baby blanket, baby diapers, sterilized scissors, placenta bowl, pajamas and postpartum pads for mama, other fancy herbal pampering mama products (earth mama angel baby products, herbal tea, Etc.), paper towel roll, wet wipes, charged cell phone, charged camera. Now just add 1 quick, happy labor and a baby... :)

The baby's birthday party basket is ready for the kids to decorate the house with too: crepe paper, happy birthday table cloth, happy birthday balloons, birthday cups, napkins, brownie mix, and handmade welcome signs. The kids even have presents to wrap for the baby (newborn onesies, blankets).

Kid Presents!
I totally lost my mind and bought ALL of the kids a surprise present for after the baby is born. I just want them to have something special for being so good to me, helping me clean and paint (I'm not doing all this nesting completely alone! lol), and doing their chores/homework without complaining. They have been so great. Everett has been a total handful to all of us, and we all really do a lot for each other and help each other when things get crazy. The kids are all so loved, special, and wonderful  -even if they all make me crazy sometimes. They aren't all cute tiny babies anymore, but they are still sweet blessings in our life that we cherish just like this new baby. On another note the kids are SO EXCITED. Especially Penelope. The baby is talked about constantly! It's so sweet and really neat.


Anonymous said...

May you have a blessed delivery for this sweet new little baby. Anxiously awaiting news of bubs arrival. Such a lucky baby coming into a truely beautiful family.
God bless,
jen (Australia)

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Thank you so very, very much! :)

Kathryn Armstrong said...

I had a LONG comment typed out and I did something wrong and it went away! :( I just wanted to let you know I still pop in on you here sometimes and read. Congrats on the new baby! I love reading your blog, it makes me smile every time! You and your family are so beautiful. Hard to believe that when I became your friend that you just had Charlotte and Sage, and they were so little bitty then. Much love to you all. - Kat (used to be dustspeck on LJ)

Anonymous said...

I think you have the prettiest kitchen I have ever seen!!!

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

oh my goodness, Anonymous , thanks so much!!! I am constantly working on my kitchen! I love for it to be a lovely place because I'm in it a TON! :)