He's Big and I'm Emotional | Week 32-35 Bumpdate
Here are some happy pictures to make up for an emotional month for me! Ahh, where do I start?
At my last two midwife appointments, my baby has been measuring big. It sounds silly trying to write it down as I've got all these pregnancy hormones flooding through my body and they definitely don't help!
So at 33 weeks, my fundal height measured like I was 38 weeks. This wasn't surprising as I look big and feel I have a good size baby in my tum! Big baby? No problem... Anyways, not in this case. You see the month before I had refused to have the gestational diabetes test. I figured I'm healthy so whats the point in gulping down all that sugar? Anyways, a big baby combined with me having PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) meant my risk of having gestational diabetes is higher than normal! Let me just say that my midwife is amazingly supportive and really wanted to make my dream of having a home birth again happen - but unfortunately, odds weren't looking good as all the other midwives in her team needed to rule out GD in order to attend my home birth. I know all this sounds silly and realise at the end of the day the most important thing is the health of my baby, but I've had my heart set on a home birth for so long and am really against unnecessary intervention and monitoring. After lots of anxiety, fear and prayer, I did the test to increase the chances of having a home birth.
The results: Negative! Hallelujah! I am just carrying a big boy. I am feeling much more at peace now about everything. It was a big learning curve for me - I learned to let go and trust God in the process, and in doing so he gave me so much comfort and peace about everything. If my homebirth doesn't go to plan, then that's ok. But I will still stick to what I want and hope and pray for the best!
Now all the tests are over, it's a waiting game at 36 weeks. It's super last minute but Dan is frantically trying to finish renovating our house so we can start getting set up for this home birth. Exciting times :)
Surprisingly, I've been sleeping really well. Of course, I still have to get up once or twice in the night to pee (what preggy mama doesn't), but sleep has been really good. I take it down to a few things:
1. Epsom salt baths EVERY night with lavender essential oil - my magic sleeping potion. If you are pregnant and need some sleep TRY this combo! It really helps to unwind from a busy day. I use and adore this brand.
2. Talking about being busy - I've been extremely busy! Both Dan and I have a lot of business stuff we are working on along with photography/ videography clients, not to mention keeping up blogging, YouTube and Instagram plus renovating and having a three-year-old to care for! It's probably not the best to be this busy, but I'm not letting myself get stressed, just lots on my to-do list that it's making me fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow (something that barely ever happens!).
3. Good nutrition and hydration! I'm making a great deal of effort to nourish my body with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and protein-rich meals every day. In my last bumpdate, I shared my Healthy Blood Making Juice - which I'm still doing and it's just divine.
4. Healthy iron levels! I'm keeping up with taking my iron supplement every second day as well as eating lots of iron-rich foods. I swear having good iron levels make you feel so alive during pregnancy. I use this supplement.
The BEST Pregnancy books!
In my downtime, whether that be first thing in the morning while eating (I do a lot of that at the moment), or while having a bath - I read! I must admit, I've never been as motivated to read in my entire life. When you have a deadline and have a bunch of books you want to get through, you just make time. Maybe that's why I barely look at my iPhone at the moment? That's probably a good thing!
Anyways, here is a list of my favourite pregnancy books. I've included a brief description and why I love them so much!
This book was probably the fastest book I've ever read! It was so good I didn't want to put it down. Don't be put off by the title - Orgasmic Birth is a book every pregnant lady should read to be more informed about what our bodies are capable of doing.
I couldn't agree more with what it says in the book "I believe it is every woman’s human right to have a pleasurable birth. It all comes down to how you define it". Most women have so much fear associated with birth that it blocks any chance of having a positive pleasurable birth experience. Here are some quotes I absolutely love:
"Never just believe what you are told - question anything that doesn't feel right in your heart or your gut. The birth of your child is something you never get to do over; so learn, read, think, love, feel and give a peaceful birth to your child as their first birthday gift!"
"I would happily give birth everyday - it truly was the most positive life-affirming, and empowering experience of my life, and it. has enabled me to feel more confident in myself as sexual and sensual woman since that day 32 years ago - it awaked me". - Patricia A.
"I attend births every week in the hospital, and there is no doubt in my mind that those women are missing out. Having a medicated birth is like going to the Grand Canyon with a blindfold on. You were there, but you missed the majesty".
"Seems to me that for an organismic birth, it is important to be secure in your own territory, to be confident in your competency, to let go, to know that your body knows exactly what to do - you just need to let it do the job and enjoy". - Francoise, France
"If you don't know your options, you don't have any" - Diana Korte and RobertaM. Scaer, A Good Birth, A Safe Birth.
"You should not have to rebel and "rage against the machine" and be "countercultural" to get a decent birth. Great ignorance and nonaltruistic motivations drive the machinery of the childbirth industry along. I know that many women just hate confrontation, and even the feisty amoung us do not like to be totally combative (although we don't mind being a little sassy sometimes). But it takes courage to fight all the way against the invisible forces wanting to hand over your birth power, all the way to a good situation for you to give birth, all the way to a safe outcome, without capitulating to pressure". - Julie B.
"I would like to say to every pregnant woman reading this: Don't be afraid to dream of the perfect birth the way you imagine it. You can have it as long as you really want it!" - Maria K.
The second book I have loved reading is Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley. Sarah is a medical doctor and has dedicated her life to natural childbirth and is an advocate of gentle early parenting choices. She is a very inspiring mother of four who birthed all of her children in the comfort of her own home.
"Women have told me, sometimes many years later, that they wish they had acted on their instincts in pregnancy and birth, instead of going along with expert opinion".
This book is an exceptional book that gives families the confidence they need to follow their own instincts. It tells the truth about pregnancy and birth - one the world needs to hear!
I read Supernatural Childbirth almost every day in my pregnancy with Beth. It helped instil a lot of peace in my spirit which helped carry me through pregnancy and birth. Definitely a book every Christian gal and couple should read!
"Fear is a spiritual force. It is the opposite of faith. It affects the physical body. Fear is your worst enemy when it is allowed to operate. It can be one of the greatest causes of pain during childbirth. Doesn't it make sense that when you are at peace, your body will be relaxed; it can stretch more, be more elastic? On the other hand, fear causes your body and muscles and nerves to tense up, to tighten. Faith in Gods word brings peace".
I love how science so often backs up my spiritual beliefs. When stressed the body produces adrenaline which actually contracts the circular muscles of the uterus - including the cervical opening which must be relaxed to dilate. Love casts out all fear. Oxytocin, otherwise known as the love hormone reaches peak levels at the moment of birth. Oxytocin contracts the long uterine fibres attached to the cervix - which, if relaxed, open easily. Thus the key to a spontaneous, ecstatic labour is simply to avoid what-ever interferes with oxytocin production ie. fear.
2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind".
Anyways that's me signing off a long and detailed bump date! Most likely I'll be writing the next one with a baby at my breast. Will be sure to include all the details of how I'm trying to bring this baby earthside as well as how I'm getting ready for my home birth.
Lots of love,