Full Term


As of midnight tonight, we are considered “full term”…. tomorrow is the “safe date” our midwife had mentioned so many times.  We made it.  He’s almost ready and I can’t believe it.

We got back from our midwife appointment a little while ago. I tested negative for Group B Strep (yay!).  Blood pressure was still the same, the pee looked good and Nessy’s heartbeat was strong (and low!).  Wee One has REALLY dropped and now weighs approximately 7 lbs!!! She is still thinking he will be 8.5 lbs or so. She said, “as of right now, you’re not looking at 9 lbs or anything”…I was relieved.  I worry about having a very large baby, even though I am not overeating….sometimes that’s just the way they come!  She said she wants us to look at going towards our due date….don’t know if that means she feels he’ll come early or not.  Either way, in a few short weeks, we’ll have a baby boy in our arms!  It’s pretty exciting…..

Anyway, during the appointment, N talked a lot about breastfeeding.  She asked me if I had ‘flat or inverted nipples’.  Not that I’m aware of…..I don’t know, this is all very new to me…. so she looked at them and said that I had “great breasts” (another ‘yay’! …and sort of funny!) for breastfeeding. She squeezed them and A LOT of colostrum came out….I had no idea that there was that much in there!!! It was pretty wild.  She said that was wonderful, and that I shouldn’t have any problem with having enough colostrum, and then enough milk later to breastfeed.  She talked a lot about preventing cracked nipples and showed me the best 2 holds for breastfeeding for the first 5 days.  Apparently the ‘football hold’ is really good and showed me how to actually hold my breast (almost like a bottle) to feed the baby.  I had no idea breastfeeding was so complex….truly.   N is so knowledgeable though, and I feel like we’re in great hands.  She told us she can help us with most things that a lactation consultant could, unless there is a more long-term problem we’re dealing with.

The car seat is out of the box and in the back of the vehicle, just waiting to be installed. The buckle is done up on it, and the space to hold the little boy to come is SO small….I kept staring at that area….it’s hard to believe he’ll be in that soon.  It’s so funny, but I can’t wait to see it in our backseat! We are going to get it inspected later in the week too.  K still has to clean the birthing tank and move that into the condo (we’ve made room for it though!) and I have to do the final touches on my birthing playlist.  We are looking forward to a nice Thanksgiving and then some Black Friday shopping on the 28th (it is also our 7th anniversary!).  I really want to enjoy these last few weeks of time that it is just us.  I know things will change so much shortly….a great change, but a big change nonetheless.

Wishing everyone a lovely Thanksgiving with those you love…..I am extra thankful this year….xo


Nesting At 36 Weeks?


nest |nest|
1 a structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young.
• a place where an animal or insect breeds or shelters : an ants’ nest.
• a person’s snug or secluded retreat or shelter.
• a bowl-shaped object likened to a bird’s nest : arrange in nests of lettuce leaves.
• a place filled with or frequented by undesirable people or things : a nest of spies.
2 a set of similar objects of graduated sizes, made so that each smaller one fits into the next in size for storage : a nest of tables.

I’ve been a bad blogger.  I’ve been meaning to update for days….but the hours and days have gotten away on me, despite my best efforts.  K has already said that the “nesting has begun”….I don’t know, maybe.  I haven’t really thought of it as nesting…but rather, organizing. I feel like I’ve been so busy these last few days.  I’ve washed ALL the 0-6 baby clothes, socks, hats, towels, receiving blankets, etc.  Who knew there would be THAT many loads of laundry to do….it really is crazy how many onesie’s we have for this child.  I’ve sent out all the thank you cards for our shower gifts, put together our new z.en baby swing, written a birth plan (in case we get transported to the hospital) and filled out pre-registration forms.  We’ve moved things out of the bedroom, put the bassinet beside the bed, finished the entire “naked book” (b.radley) & my birth invitation for our MW and picked up the 150-gallon birthing tank and brought it up to the condo (that thing is a monster and resembles a horse trough!).  Whew!  It’s been exhausting, but exciting to feel like we’re knocking things off our to-do list! It is beginning to feel like we’ll have a baby in our home soon!

We have very few things left to get:  new garden hose, shower adapter, extension cord, ice bag, coffee for the midwife and high-protein prepared meals to have after the birth.  It doesn’t seem like much after all we’ve gotten!

Today is 36w2d.  Nessy is approximately 6 lbs at this point! We are safe to have him this Tuesday, if he decides to come then.  I can’t believe that.  That “safe date/full term date” always seemed so far away!  We picked up a bottle of wine yesterday for the upcoming labor OR after the birth.  It’s the first bottle we’ve had in the house in 9 mos (Karli doesn’t drink wine)….I can’t wait to celebrate the birth of our boy…..

We have now switched to appointments with N, our midwife, every week now.  At our appointment yesterday, she did the Group B strep test.  We will have the results back by next Monday’s appointment.  She did an internal exam (first one) and said that I haven’t started dilating yet, so she is thinking that I will go close to my due date at this point, not next week…which is totally okay with me….I just had to have the 37 week marker to look forward to!  It was weird getting an internal exam from her though, not because she made me feel uncomfortable or anything, but because every appointment has been so casual and just like chit-chatting with a good friend, and this time I had to drop my drawers and that barrier was broken.  She made me feel really at-ease though, and all 3 of us joked around (K comes to every appointment with me). A little background on Karli….she likes to joke around a lot and get a reaction out of people…..I think she knew I was nervous about the first exam….so she tried to lighten the mood.  Once N said that she was going to do an internal, K went on to say “Oh, well GREAT, because I gave Tiff an A+ shave job.” (I have officially not been able to do this myself the last 2 weeks)  Awesome.  At least we laughed.  Here I am laying down, legs open, and my midwife says “VERY nice shave job!”, looking at Karli.  I think that broke the ice enough to where I won’t be uncomfortable at any further appointments! Other things from the appointment:

  • Wee One has dropped!  Very happy about this, as I am now able to breathe a little easier!
  • I lost a pound, which was great…. as I am carrying a lot of water weight! She said I should be done gaining now, so I’ve gained 30 total, which she said was right on target.
  • Blood pressure was still the same, not elevated, so that was more good news. Wee One’s heartbeat was strong and normal, and he was having very strong hiccups when she was listening to his HB. My whole tummy moved….it was pretty funny. She said that the baby is still in the perfect position, and that my pelvis is “perfect” to have a baby (not unusually shaped), so that was great news. She said I will have no problem delivering him, as I didn’t have any weird bone or pelvis issues. The exam was uncomfortable….it felt like she was applying A LOT of pressure.  She said she was “walking around my pelvis” and that everything seemed great.  I was relieved….you have no idea what your pelvis is like before these exams!
  • She sent me off to buy some vitamins specifically for the end of pregnancy (to prevent hemorrhage and create healthy tissue growth).  Ingredients are: black cohosh, squaw vine herb, dong quai root butcher’s broom root & red raspberry leaves.
  • Instructed me to start taking evening primrose oil to soften/ripen the cervix & suggested increasing my intake of raspberry leaf tea.

Our last natural birthing class was last night.  I was sort of sad about that….I really liked the instructor and the folks in the class and can’t believe this fun part of the pregnancy is ending.  I will be the first one to have a baby out of the class (every other couple is due in February) and feel like I almost have a responsibility to get through this natural birth successfully.  I know that I shouldn’t really feel that pressure, but I do somewhat.  Funny, I know.

We have to install the car seat this weekend and get it inspected.  I think once I see that in our vehicle, it will be all the more REAL.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in denial though…I know I’m pregnant, and I know he’s in there….waiting for the right time to make his entrance into this world….yet, somehow it feels surreal….like I’ll always be pregnant and never a mother.  It’s coming up so soon, and I do feel ready, despite the last few things we have to do.

My belly has gotten massive and I have finally gotten those dreaded stretch marks.  I only had one small one before (around 20 weeks), and hadn’t gotten any since then.  I thought maybe I would be spared….alas, no such luck!  36 weeks, in all it’s glory! Hopefully this will be one of the last belly shots you’ll see ladies!


Getting Prepared

zencircle01The weekend seemed to fly by, as it always does.  I didn’t quite lay flat in bed for 48 hours…but I tried to keep my feet up for a few hours here and there.  Friday night K and I went out with friends to a fab Cuban restaurant, where I enjoyed a lovely (and simple) meal.  I got home and started feeling a bit crappy…..then proceeded to throw it all up.  I don’t really know what that was all about, as my meal was basically a glorified grilled-cheese, but I’m finding I’m feeling SO full lately, even if I only eat a little….so maybe I had just reached my maximum and my stomach couldn’t handle it.  I don’t know! I felt much better after that though, and wasn’t sick the rest of the weekend.  On Saturday, K and I hit the stores to try and work on getting everything for our birth box.  We did quite well and got the following supplies for our home birth:

  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Large black plastic trash bags
  • Receiving blankets
  • Nursing tank top and new undies
  • Baby undershirts
  • Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer
  • One bottle of rubbing alcohol
  • One bottle of hydrogen peroxide
  • Q-tips
  • Peri-bottle (Squeeze type)
  • Baby/Adult wipes to be used during labor
  • 26 oz. box of sea salt for postpartum herb bath
  • 4 oz. of ground cloves (again, for herb bath)
  • Ginger-ale to ensure hydration in labor
  • A.dvil liquid gels for postpartum pain relief
  • Epsom salts
  • Chapstick
  • T.ucks pads and witch hazel for postpartum relief
  • Massage oil to be used during labor

Not too bad if you ask me!! We are really almost-there on being prepared.  We still need a blue bulb-type ear syringe (not nasal aspirator) and I’m finding it difficult to find one! We’ve looked at BRU, W.Mart & T.arget!  We also need a new garden hose and shower adapter (to fill up the birthing tub), extension cord, ice bag, coffee for the midwife and a bottle of wine! We are also going to make a high-protein meal to have ready for after Wee One is born, as well as protein snacks on hand for labor.  Still on my to-do list:  1) pack a “just in case” hospital bag 2) wash all Wee One’s clothes and birth towels 3) install car seat 4) set up birthing tank (in a week and a half) It’s really not that much! We’re so close to READY!!! Our F.isher P.rice Z.en Swing came in today too! I’m so excited to set that up.  Our nursery will be almost complete after that! Also, our midwife suggested a certain pediatrician for us (and I truly trust N completely!) that was around her age, and a little flexible on vaccinations.  I called them to make sure they were accepting new patients.  The secretary was so friendly and sweet, which immediately made me feel good! She told us to just call her after we had our baby and that we would go from there.  She wished us luck and said “see you soon”…. I really appreciated calling up a new place and hearing someone so cheery on the phone!!! We are not going to interview him, as he comes recommended by our midwife (who knows our needs and wants in a pedi).  We figure if we meet him and hate him, we can always switch.  She also reminded us that we don’t need someone to tell us that we’re doing a good job or reinforce the decisions we’re making (vaccines, etc), we just simply need a good doctor to care for our baby.  The decisions are up to us as parents!  It was good to be reminded of that!

Tomorrow is 35 weeks, which means we have just 2 short weeks till we are full-term and it’s safe to have our little man at home.  It seems so crazy that in a few short weeks our whole lives will change!  My belly is getting so big!  Every time I cough my belly button sticks out….Karli’s new thing is that she just ASKS me to cough now so that she can see it.  I’m thinking it’s going to pop out on its own here soon! Next week is our last birthing class….it’s flown by, but I feel I’ve learned a lot about labor and some good positions and pain-coping techniques (that hopefully I’ll remember when the time comes!) Next week we also switch to appointments every week (with our midwife).  Right now I’m working on my “birth invitation”….it’s something that our midwife, N, gets everyone to do.  It forces you to address your fears and embrace them, as well as focus on feelings and affirmations you have/would like to have for the labor and delivery.  Doing all these exercises and reading in the classes is really making this all the more real.  I am trying to be “zen” about it all and just let it happen when it is meant to happen.  I am still a little nervous about the pain of a natural labor, which I think is to be expected.  Since pain is one of my fears for birth, I am “inviting” it in my birth invitation.  Pain that is powerful, purposeful and productive. I requested life-giving pain that I am capable of handling.  It will allow me to listen to what my body is doing and to work with my body and baby to do what it needs to do.  I am going to have my invitation and affirmations near when the time comes…hoping that they help me through it all.

Another thing we did this weekend was attend a doula workshop.  Our birthing assistant, T, invited us and a few other couples. I was one of 6 pregnant mamas whose belly was used to help doulas-in-training.  I was pretty honored! There were about 30 women being trained by T to become doulas.  They each took turns placing their hands on my belly to find where Wee One was positioned and then tried to locate his heartbeat with a fetoscope.  T was awesome and said that Wee One’s heartbeat was just perfect! It was pretty cool to see so many young women passionate about birth.  We watched a video of 5 waterbirths, and I was holding back tears.  I so want that for my labor and delivery!  The births took place at a birthing center in Guatemala….and it was unreal how the women were so calm and quiet during the intensity of contractions, pushing and delivery.  If only I could be like that! K kept calling them “champs”….they honestly were!  At the end of the workshop, T gave me a hot/cold herb bag that she had made herself.  It smelled so good, with lavender and a whole mix of herbs…. I have a feeling that it will come in handy during labor!

I’m off to read more of The Naked Book (aka B.radley) and to try and force myself to drink more cold raspberry leaf tea (why couldn’t I just be someone who enjoys cold tea!??).

34w3d Midwife Appointment


Appointment was this morning.  Wee One was wriggling around everywhere! (Repeatedly kicked our MW while she listened to his heartbeat!) He’s still head down, and measuring a little under 5 1/2 lbs (she took the measuring tape to see how my belly was measuring and we’re right on target – 34 weeks!). Blood pressure was great, and there was no protein in my pee (woo hoo!).  Bad news though….I gained 4.5 lbs in the last 2.5 weeks!!!  My midwife said that I am carrying about 5 lbs of solid water weight all over my body.  My ankles, wrists and hands are pretty swollen. My skin feels pretty tight……N recommended that I lay down on my left side for……..get this….48 hours STRAIGHT.  Basically laying down, drinking, peeing for 2 days.  Yikes.  She said the the water isn’t “clearing” just overnight.  That may be difficult.  I’m going to try to lay down for a few hours tomorrow morning and then in the later afternoon.  I can’t imagine just being in bed for 2 days straight…..but I am going to try to do what I can to alleviate SOME of the water weight.  She said that if I don’t lay flat, it will only get worse….which we definitely don’t want.  We don’t want my cankles to now turn into trunkles (Karli coined that word up this morning….when cankles no longer even looks like calf ankles, but more like tree trunks with a little bit of ankle!).

One other thing! Checked our registry this morning and saw that a few family friends chipped in to get us our B.ritax carseat!!! We are SOOO excited. It was 300 dollars and we were going to have to get it in the next 2 weeks!!! It’s pretty hardcore, for 5lbs (so Wee One could technically use it now…he he!) up to 6 years old! I had to share this news….we’re pretty excited! We registered for it in “Cowmooflage”….how cute is that???


Baby Shower


We had an awesome time at the shower….as most of you know, our nursery is green and brown, so we tried to go with that color theme.  We had green balloons with brown ribbon, brown cakes with green icing, green table cloths, green t-shirts with brown birds on them (we gave a shirt to everyone who came to the shower as their favor). I can’t even begin to say how amazing it was to be surrounded by loving supportive friends and family.  Wow.  We are so blessed to have so many wonderful folks in our lives!!! So many people care for Wee One (aka Nessy) already.  Side note: K and I have started calling our boy NESSY.  The reason for this is silly of course, but will come with an explanation after he is born and you all know his name!

For those of you reading this that came on Sunday – THANK YOU! It meant more to us that you know! Thanks again for the many nice things you got us as well.  I can’t wait to use them with Wee One in a few weeks! Everyone has asked what we got, so here goes:

hungry caterpillar book, dr. s.euss books, 2 diaper & wipes caddies, a.vent BPA-free infant bottle starter set, a.my coe swirl boppy, baby b.jorn carrier, m.oby wrap, f.isher price z.en collection infant seat (vibrates and plays music), sleep positioner with built-in nightlight and incline, u.ppa baby v.ista stroller (thank you K’s dad!), c.olumbia diaper bag, set of organic bibs, s.oothing sounds puppy, digital thermometor set, c.lean water infant tub, toys, nursing cover, organic changing pad & cover, cozy mocha blanket, organic sage thermal blanket, organic s.waddle me wraps (small & large), organic fitted crib sheets, organic 4 pack of receiving blankets, newborn double headrest for car seat, 6-pack of lap and burp pads, BPA-free a.vent trainer cup, 7th Gen diapers, waterproof pads, oh-so-cute patterned bibs (including a HANDMADE one from Notes From Two Moms….absolutely ADORABLE), gift cards for BRU, T.arget & WMart.  I know I am forgetting a few things….but, seriously we are so lucky and thankful for the things we got.  It is a huge help, and I am SO excited to use them all! We have most everything we need now…..we are going to get our car seat and swing in the next week or two, the rest of our birth supplies, and then we wait!!!!

I thought it would be easier to post a slideshow of the shower instead of a whole bunch of pictures.  Enjoy!!!

34 Weeks!


The last few days have been crazy! We have had a friend here visiting from WA the last few days (and is leaving at 5am tomorrow morning), so this post will be short and sweet! Our baby shower was on Sunday and was SO much fun! It was so nice to see so many supportive people! We had a wonderful time with friends and family and got some beautiful gifts.  Pictures and details to come.

In the meantime, today is the day to get out and vote! K cast her vote, and we are hoping that everyone else is voting FOR CHANGE as well!! Our fingers our crossed.

Oh, the main reason for this post though….I am 34 weeks today (holy crap!).  3 weeks till we are considered full-term.  I’m starting to really feel massive now, am burning up (temperature wise) and I am peeing ALL.THE.TIME (therefore sleeping less!).  I have also officially started waddling.  Really.  I can’t believe how fast The Big Day is approaching….I feel like we are almost ready.  We have most everything we need (except the car seat and some birth supplies) and are getting the last few things in the next 2 weeks or so. Hoping this little man comes right at 37 weeks, but it’s doubtful. A girl can dream right? That’s all for now….a longer, more detailed post to come soon! And now, behold, 34 weeks in all its glory ladies: