We're getting closer! Like... crazy close. It all feels very surreal, but we could be welcoming this baby into the world any day now. At most, it won't be longer than another couple weeks. Just crazy!
I'm feeling better about baby's arrival since we've had time to prep. The tiny clothes are washed and folded and put away. The covers for all the baby items have been washed. Most of the projects I wanted to get done before baby's arrival have been completed.
Recently, I made 2 muslin swaddling blankets:
They're actually made out of cotton gauze, but they're inspired by the popular aden + anais muslin swaddling blankets so I'll call them muslin. Super simple project. They're just two 1 1/4 yard squares of white cotton gauze that I hemmed on all 4 sides and then dyed with Rose RIT dye. Easy peasy and after sale and coupon each blanket cost $4.50 (and that's including the dye). Compare that with the name brand blankets which start around $35 for a 4-pack.
And my other recent project is a set of a dozen cloth wipes:
They're flannel on one side and terry cloth on the other. I actually have had the fabric for this project since Jack was a baby, but ended up not actually making the wipes because we ended with plenty of wipes for him from the baby washcloths that we use. But now, with two babies in diapers, I'm going to need more so this is a good start! I think I used 1/4 yard of each fabric and got a dozen generous sized wipes. I just turned and topstiched the fabric and they're nice and plush too!
I'm currently working on my last baby project, which is a crocheted baby blanket. It's about halfway done right now so we've been discussing whether I will finish the blanket first or baby will make her arrival first. It could definitely go either way, we'll see!
We still need to pack hospital bags. Surely I'm not the only pregnant woman to wait til the last minute to do this? I can't remember when I packed my bags last time either. I'm sure it wasn't very early. Mark says he feels like we packed them right before leaving for the hospital. Hmm... maybe we'll work on this today. Especially considering we have 3 people to pack for this time, not 2!
I had my 39 week midwife appointment on Tuesday. Everything looks great. Baby seems to be measuring right on track still (based on fundal height and my midwife feeling baby), her heart rate is perfect, my blood pressure is good, weight is good, I haven't had any swelling, I'm still relatively comfortable, and I haven't even had any heartburn to speak of (whereas last time, I didn't really have any throughout my pregnancy, but the last few weeks it was terrible and constant! So glad I seem to have avoided that this time!).
Oh, also, my belly button has decided to kind of halfway pop out. This happened maybe a week or so ago. With Jack my belly button never popped, just got really, really flat. This time it seemed like the same thing was going to happen, but lo and behold it seems to be popping out a little bit. Jack likes to poke it and has decided that it looks like a cherry (???).
I haven't had a cervical check yet. My practice doesn't begin routine cervical checks until 40 weeks unless I really want it and I was planning to decline checks this time even if they wanted to do them. They don't mean anything as far as when you will go into labor (as evidenced by the fact that I held off on checks until 38 weeks last pregnancy and when I was checked at 38, 39, and 40 weeks I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced every time leading up to labor at 41 weeks.) and I trust that my body is doing exactly what it needs to be doing in preparation for this baby. My midwife did mention that if I still have an inside baby at my 40 week appointment (which I will actually be 40 weeks, 1 day for the appointment) they will want to do a cervical check just to see what's going on (I'm fine with that).
She also mentioned that I might consider allowing them to do a membrane sweep to jump start things. I'm not planning to allow them to do this. I tried that last time at my 40 week appointment and it was mighty uncomfortable for me then just left me feeling uncomfortable and crampy for the next day, maybe two, while still sporting a big pregnant belly for another week. It didn't send me into labor and I'm of the opinion that it's not going to work unless your body is ready for labor anyway. Might as well wait for it to start on its own rather than being uncomfortable leading up to it! We'll see what happens between now and then, but barring some serious changes in my comfort level I think we'll just skip it until at least 41 weeks and then reevaluate.
Obviously we're getting closer though. Wednesday evening I started feeling some very mild menstrual-like cramping and then I had a few (like... 3) mild contractions. I guess they would still be considered Braxton Hicks contractions, but they're definitely ramping up. I've felt Braxton Hicks contractions since my 2nd trimester, but it was only tightening that I felt. Now, they are stronger, and I'm feeling some downward pressure with them as well. I'm not really sure if the contractions are just stronger so they're causing that feeling, or baby is lower so I'm feeling the pressure when the contractions happen as they have been, or if the contractions are different and are actually pushing baby downward. Or, maybe some combination of all of the above!
I've had these stronger contractions every day since Wednesday and with more frequency. Last night I had one every 40 minutes or so from early evening until I went to bed. They seem to come at the end of the day, which is also playing into my feeling that my labor will start in the evening again. Progress!
I find these contractions SO very interesting. I never noticed any Braxton Hicks with Jack, and certainly nothing like this with the contraction and pressure together. I know not everyone feels them, especially first time moms, so this has been a new experience for me. The very first contraction I had with Jack was the start of my labor and things progressed pretty quickly to active labor from there. And it was super painful and I didn't even notice tightening, just super amounts of pain in my pelvis which had been bothering me. That's how my whole labor was. So this time, it's nice to actually experience the feeling of a normal contraction that's not painful. It's reassuring to me as well that things will be different this time and build more gradually. Even though I'm a second time mom, I feel like I had never experienced a normal contraction before because of the complications with my pelvic pain last time. It's a very neat feeling at this point to feel my body working the way it should!
Honestly, at this point I'm just trying to enjoy this last bit of my pregnancy, and the last bit of time we have as a family of three. Maybe Mark is just taking too good of care of me!