We’re in the home stretch!!! I’m just finishing up my 35th week of pregnancy and can officially say to people, when they ask when the baby is coming, “Sometime in the next month!”
She was apparently 18-19 inches long and weighed 5-6 pounds this week — about the size of a bag of carrots, which was fitting for Easter. 🙂
I had a doctor appointment this past Friday, where we found out I’ve gained a total of 32 pounds and my belly is measuring right on track for 35 weeks. After I told our doctor I thought the baby might have switched positions, she did a super-quick ultrasound and saw that she is still head-down (woo-hoo!) but had flipped her body so that the little feet I used to feel kicking the right side of my ribs are now kicking my left side. Our doctor said it’s pretty rare for babies to move out of the head-down position once they’re already in it at this point, so I’m feeling good about that.
Later that day, we toured the birth center and got the scoop on where to go and what to do when I’m in labor. We visited one of the many identical birthing suites, which is huge and has everything from a Jacuzzi tub and jetted shower to a TV with access to music stations and movies. The vibe was more comforting than clinical, which I really liked. Plus, the baby never has to leave the room, as they have everything needed to take care of her right there.
I have nothing else to compare this room to, but it seemed pretty great to me! It’s nice to be able to visualize where I’ll be laboring and giving birth, as before I was just picturing some anonymous hospital room like you’d see on TV.
We also visited one of the post-birth recovery rooms, which we’d actually seen before when we visited Aaron’s best friend Adam and wife Kim after they had their son. It’s a much smaller version of the birthing suite, without the Jacuzzi tub and baby-related equipment, but still with a private bathroom and shower. Someone advised me on Instagram to make sure I shower at the hospital while there are plenty of people around to watch the baby so I can feel fresh and ready to face the world, so I’ll make sure I do that!
I’ve got the hospital bag about half-packed, but I’ve written a complete list of everything I want to bring, which will remove the guesswork if I have to pack the rest in a hurry. Here’s what I’ve got on there:
– Nursing bras (I’ll probably already be wearing one, since I wear it all the time at home; I also bought a bigger size in case I need it after my milk comes in)
– Lounge pants & shorts
– Stretchy tank tops
– Comfy hoodie (I’m not really a robe person)
– Cozy socks
– Outfit to wear home – maybe a comfy maxi dress?
– Hair clips/ties/headband
– Toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, etc. – I already have a little bag of travel-sized everything that I keep packed and ready to go, so this was easy!
– Nursing pads & nipple cream
– iPhone charger
– Camera, extra battery & battery charger
– Snacks, like Larabars, dried fruit strips, etc.
– Coconut water – I’m constantly thirsty and this helps so much!
– Gu gels – who knows whether I’ll actually eat these, but I might as well have them in case I need energy when I’m not allowed to eat anything solid while in labor
– Water bottle with a straw – great tip via Instagram from a new-mom friend!
– Two going-home outfits – one newborn size, one 0-3 month size – you never know!
– Two blankets/swaddles
– Binky – I’m sure we’ll have one from the hospital, but just in case
– Snoogle – is this overkill? Several moms on Instagram recommended I bring my own pillows, and I think I might really want this during labor and/or after
– Birth certificate paperwork, filled out as much as possible ahead of time
– Copies of our birth plan – a very brief one with a few preferences outlined in bullet points
We also now have a car-seat base properly installed in each of our cars, thanks to our visit on Saturday with The Car Seat Lady, aka Sue Emery! She surprisingly doesn’t have a website, but is well-known in the Seattle area as an expert who has helped parents learn about car-seat safety for more than 20 years.
We made an appointment with Sue via text message (her preferred method of communication) for Saturday afternoon, and she met us in the parking lot of our hospital to check out our seat situation. She walked us through how to properly install the Chicco Keyfit 30 base (referral) in my car, then had me do it myself, and then did the same with Aaron and his car. She also showed us how to insert and remove the seat itself (couldn’t be easier), and advised us on a few key points, like how long to use the newborn insert in the seat (until the baby weighs 11 pounds).
The whole appointment was about 20 minutes long, and Sue left us with some handwritten notes to refer to later. This lady knows her stuff! Sure, we could have educated ourselves by reading the instruction manual forward and backward, but Sue’s hands-on expertise and answers to our all questions were so helpful. If you live in the Seattle area, call or text her at (206) 619-2871, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. She doesn’t charge for her services, but she does accept tips.
I want for a little walk along a path around the hospital after our appointment since it was so nice and sunny on Saturday, but didn’t make it very far before I had to hit the bathroom again — even though I went right before I started walking. The peeing situation has become serious. I’m so thirsty all the time, and the kiddo likes to dance on my bladder, so I’m now living the always-peeing pregnant-lady cliche.
I went on another walk today (Monday) that was much more successful, as I walked a little over a mile uphill to the grocery store, grabbed a few things for dinner, and walked back home with only one bathroom stop. The weather is going to be really beautiful this week, so I plan to get out walking as much as possible!
The weather was not beautiful for Easter Sunday — torrential rain poured all day long — but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a lovely brunch buffet (a pregnant lady’s dream!) at Echo Falls with my dad and brother, and later dinner with Aaron’s mom and stepdad. The rain stopped just long enough to get a few pictures after brunch; I stole these from my dad off Facebook:
My dress is a non-maternity maxi from Ann Taylor that I’ve had for a few years now, and I was shocked to find that it still fit really well when I randomly tried it on last week! It must be made of some magical material, like those pants from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I may even pack it to wear home from the hospital, since it’s so comfy and forgiving.
We have versions of this exact picture going back several years!
2013 — my dad was emulating the Dos Equis guy with his beard:
2014 — Aaron had just had shoulder surgery and was probably on lots of painkillers in this photo:
2015 — Aaron’s turn to have an epic beard:
And next year, we’ll have a sweet little girl with us to do the Easter-egg hunt!
One last thing for this week. I’ve been thinking a lot about giving birth and the moment I’ll see our daughter for the first time. The question I keep turning over in my mind is: Will I recognize her?
I don’t mean that in the sense of recognizing who in our family she looks like, but in the sense of recognizing her as my daughter rather than some random baby who just showed up out of nowhere. Will I feel that instant bond with her as her mother?
I discussed this with one of the girls at Carly’s bachelorette party who has a toddler, and she said yes, it seems crazy, but I will instantly recognize her and be prepared to give my life to protect her. The conversation made me cry then, and remembering it is making me cry again now!
I can’t imagine what that moment will feel like, but just thinking about it is so overwhelming. It’s that moment that occupies my mind more than anything, more than the packing list or the birth plan or the car seat. It’s that moment when our daughter, who we could only imagine before, will become real and change our lives forever.
OK, I’m officially an emotional mess now! Time to wrap this up.
Tomorrow, I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant — nine whole months. Aaron and I don’t have much else to do to prepare besides tie up a few loose ends and enjoy our last little bit of time as just the two of us.
I wouldn’t say I’m completely mentally ready for this to happen, but I’m also not not ready. I think the idea of going into labor — the uncertainty of when it’ll happen and what it’ll feel like — is freaking me out a bit, but I’m hoping I’ll be calm and have my game face on when it does happen. We’ll see! In all likelihood, I’ve got at least a few more weeks to become nice and ready. 🙂