38 weeks, 38 weeks… The baby could come at any time and being so close to my due date, I’m getting pretty anxious. Anxious about the birth and his arrival! My darling sister was able to capture a few photos in a maternity photo session in the woods behind my home. Isn’t she quite the talented photographer?! How grateful and blessed I am to have a sister with an amazing eye, who is so gifted at taking pictures, and willing to spend her precious time taking these photos!
This past week has had its ups and downs. Most days I feel great and can’t be any better, which means the baby will most likely stay put for awhile. I’m not complaining as it gives me extra time to double make sure I’m ready for when he makes his entrance into our world. The last couple days I’ve felt tired and needed naps to survive through the day. After a busy weekend at the homeschooling conference, I needed a chance to recoup a bit. I felt some contractions during both days of the conference, but nothing regular or that progressed. It’s my body’s way of getting ready for the real thing and not take it for granted that I have all the time in the world to make sure all my things are together.
I decided to rewash the fabric coverings over the bassinet as my 3 year old daughter, Patience, loves putting her fingers all over it and peering into it as if she expects to see the baby in there. She put some smudges on it and I’m sure they would have been fine, but I couldn’t help myself to strip it down and rewash it. I also chose this time to repack my birth center bag and everything is packed with the exception of the items I’ll have to pack last minute like my toothbrush, toiletries, diffuser, cell phone, camera, refrigerated snacks/drinks, etc.
In my birth center bag, I packed my swimsuit top as I plan on attempting another water birth, 2 Hot Mama Gowns (a Hospital/Birthing Center friendly gown made out of 100% organic cotton with special panels for nursing), a couple pair of socks, a pair of slippers, hair tie, my going home outfit (a small maternity shirt and comfy lounge pants), a baby outfit (newborn gown, hat, socks), newborn diapers and wipes, baby blanket, baby swaddling blanket, lip balm, Larabars, organic applesauce in pouches, trail mix, and homemade baby shampoo/wash. I really don’t need to pack much since I go home the same day that I give birth. One of the many perks of delivering at a birth center with a midwife!
My two oldest daughters (who are 11 and almost 7 years old) want to be at the birth so I have packed a few books and extra snacks for them. My mother in law plans to make it to the birth as well so she’ll be on hand to keep an eye on them and keep them occupied and entertained while they wait for the exciting moment to arrive. This will be my oldest daughter’s second time watching her sibling be born. I think they are more excited than I am about the baby’s birth as they ask constantly if I feel like I’m going to have the baby on a daily basis.
I’ve also finalized my birth center bag with my essential oil birth kit. I’ve included Balance and wild orange for diffusing during the birth to help keep me focused. I have Serenity for after the birth to promote peace and calmness. I put together a roller bottle with lavender and white fir to massage over my abdomen for after birth pains. I’m bringing clary sage and myrrh in the event of stalled contractions to rub on the inside of my ankles, peppermint in case baby isn’t in the right position during labor, and helichrysum to put on my back and abdomen to help reduce the chances of hemorrhaging too much. I don’t tear or get hemorrhoids or usually go through back labor during birth so I decided not to pack those oils for those types of conditions.
I didn’t forget to pack doTERRA essential oils for the baby too! I’m packing frankincense for the baby’s crown and spine as protection and assisting with bonding, myrrh for his umbilical cord to help seal tissue and protect all systems, Balance for the bottoms of his feet to ground him, and melissa on the bottoms of his feet for DNA repair during the birth. When I get home, I plan to also be rubbing some geranium and lemon essential oils on the bottoms of his feet to help reduce the chance of jaundice.
Starting my 39th week, I’m going to be applying a reduce bleeding essential oil blend to my inner ankles and back daily in hopes that it will combat against hemorrhaging from the birth. I tend to hemorrhage a lot during birth and come close to a blood transfusion twice. I’ve had friends tell me this has worked for them so I’m very excited to try it out this time! The reduce bleeding blend contains essential oils such as clary sage, helichrysum, cypress, white fir, geranium, and ylang ylang. I’m also upping my intake of red raspberry leaf tea and other herbs to help tone my uterus, which can help to reduce hemorrhaging too. Please pray for me and wish me luck that these measures will work!
When I first go into labor, I plan on making my own “laborade” to take with me and packing snacks like yogurt to take with us. I had done a test trial on an alternative sports drink that a sports nutritionist uses for Olympic and professional athletes to make sure I could stand the taste of it. It’s made with freshly squeezed orange juice, maple syrup, sea salt, and water. I did add some ElectroMix (an electrolyte mixture made by Alacer Corp. who makes EmergenC) to ensure that I would get all the potassium, sodium, etc. to get me through a long labor as I tend to have marathon labors. Like a friend said, God makes some of us sprinters and some of us marathon runners! I also plan on bringing a jug of a raspberry leaf tea blend to drink in between the “laborade” as well.
So now, I wake up every day wondering if today’s the day I’ll be meeting my newest little guy. I’ve had 3 of my children go past their estimated due date, one that came on her second estimated due date, and one that made it one week early from her estimated due date so it really can go either way. In the meantime, I’m giving extra attention and snuggles to my current baby as her time as my baby will be almost up! Hopefully, my next update will be introducing you to our newest blessing, Valor Samuel Joseph Renner and our birth story at Mat-Su Midwifery!