Wow – where did the time go? Somehow, I’ve made it to the last month of pregnancy! In only a week, I will be considered full term with this precious fourth baby! And I can hardly wait to meet him or her! (The suspense is killing me – boy? girl? ahhhhh!)
In the last month, we have been mainly preparing for our last minute change to a home birth. Read about why we decided to switch from our planned hospital birth here. I am soooo excited about the switch and all the anxiety I had over the birth has gone once we made the decision.
I’ve been in full-on nesting mode. I’ve moved a dresser into our closet for the baby and have been washing all the newborn and 0-3 month clothes we have for a boy or girl. My favorite baby wearing wraps are washed and ready! The baby swing has new batteries. The swaddling blankets and receiving blankets are ready!
The midwives gave me an extensive checklist of items to have for the birth. I have all but two of them now. The first part was a list of consumable medical supplies. I thought I would have to track these down from Amazon or a medical supply store, but it was so much easier than that. My midwives have a specific kit to order from a small medical supply company in Oregon. The only hiccup was having to wait for Oregon to melt from the “Snowmageddon” they experienced this January before they could ship my supplies. But they arrived quickly once the roads cleared.
The other items on the list were either things we already had around the house (receiving blankets, extra sheets, flashlight with new batteries, towels, wash cloths, etc.) or things that can be easily purchased to be on hand. Things like menstrual pads, juice, electrolyte drink, perineum recovery supplies, etc.
My boxes are ready in my closet with the baby items, just waiting for “D-day” (delivery day!) I also have a unisex outfit for the baby right after birth, complete with socks and hat, and a boy and girl outfit picked out for a little later.
We will pick up one of the birthing tubs in a week or two from another family after they have their baby. It is actually a large Rubbermaid water trough! I can’t wait to tell our little one that they were born in a water trough! LOL!
One idea that I loved from the book “Birthing from Within” was the idea of having a birth or labor project. This project can keep you occupied during the often long hours of early labor and even into the tough time of transition.
I love this idea because I’ve found from my previous labors that having a distraction from the pain is one of the best ways to cope with labor. My labor with my third was so smooth and easy and I credit that to many things, but one of the most valuable with that I was not stuck in a hospital room dwelling on her labor (in fact, we barely got to the hospital in time).
So, if I am able, I plan to do a simple sewing project during my labor this time. Of course, this depends on the time of day and length of labor. I may not have time for such things, but that’s okay, too! I’ve been eyeing these simple cloth napkins on Pinterest, so I plan to have the cloth ready so I can make these if I want.
These last few weeks I have had 3 appointments with our midwives and I just love them. One week we had a private home birth class with just my husband and I. It was great to get all our questions answered and know what to expect (as much as you can plan such things) this time birthing at home.
We also had our home visit, where the midwives both came to our house so they would know the layout before they came for the labor. I showed them the two boxes where we are storing all the labor supplies and also where we plan to put the birthing tub. They have a 50 minute drive to get here, so they continually emphasized how important it was for me to keep them informed of any changes, no matter how minor they seem!
The midwives also made sure we planned out a detailed emergency plan in case I need to be transferred to a hospital. I don’t think it will be an issue (they don’t either), but I am glad that they are prepared (and preparing us) for the possibility. Better to be safe, than sorry.
Early labor signs?
This time around my body is already getting ready for labor. This is somewhat normal for me (after my first, anyway), but it has been happening earlier each time.
The midwives checked me at my 36 week appointment this week and I was already 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I am experienced enough to know that that really does not mean I will go into labor soon, but it might…
I also just lost my mucous plug and have been having frequent light contractions on and off, so I am trying to take it easy for the next week, just in case! This is not abnormal for me in the last month of pregnancy, but it is about 2 weeks earlier than I normally start experiencing prodromal/early labor. This baby needs to stay put for at least another week so that I can safely deliver at home and he or she can finish fully developing.
Stay tuned for what comes next! Hopefully we will have a new baby sometime in 1 to 5 weeks!