Thursday, November 7, 2013

37 Weeks and I'm Ready!?

Some of my prayers have been answered, Stella is now considered full term!  And we are ready!  Are we ready?  Well, for the most part I'm comfortable saying we are ready to meet Stella.  My basic to-do list is done!  Here are the major tasks that have been finished in the past few months:
  • house is cleaned using all-natural cleaning products
  • fridge has been cleaned out, I've started freezing some meals and stocking up on healthy snacks
  • nursery is complete!
  • pack and play is set up in the living room along with her new bouncy seat
  • bassinet is set up in our bedroom with her AngelCare Monitor hooked up
  • laundry is caught up, diapers are washed and assembled with instructions on the washer for Mark while I'm recovering
  • hospital bag is packed
  • toiletries and house necessities are stock piled (remember we live in the middle of nowhere)
  • plans are in place for our dog Kaiser when I go in labor
  • car seat is installed, car is clean, oil is changed, gas tank is full
  • reading and research is complete on:  labor and delivery, postpartum recovery, baby care, breastfeeding, and CPR (with instructions posted on fridge)
  • Mark and I went over loading and safety basics with all our guns (something we plan to repeat weekly)
  • smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and checked, fire extinguishers are placed throughout the house and in our vehicles
  • and after all that work, yesterday I treated myself to an at-home spa day for some relaxation!!
Now, of course that is just a checklist.  I am fully aware that there is no way to be 100% "ready" to be a parent.  I know my life is going to change in ways that I can't even imagine.  However, that doesn't give me the excuse to not be as prepared as possible.  Emotionally I feel mostly relaxed and excited.  Yes, I'm apprehensive about the pain, worried Stella will have complications, nervous about getting to the hospital in time...the unavoidable fears.  But being organized and prepared has helped me reach a level of calm that I would have never arrived at otherwise.  I am proud of all our nesting, and I am as ready as I can be!

Physically I've been feeling pretty good, although I have noticed some changes over the past few days.  The biggest is that I've developed carpel tunnel in my right hand.  It's very annoying, but not painful.  My hand is constantly "asleep", numb and tingly.  It gets worse at night and when I use it too much.  Very frustrating, I'm glad my projects are all finished!  I have also been having more contractions, not painful but definitely more often.  My doctor didn't check to see if I was dilated yet since I've been feeling so good, but she will check next Tuesday at my 38 week appointment.  I had the Group B strep test done 2 weeks ago and it came back negative.  One less medicine to worry about during labor!  I don't think Stella has dropped yet, but I'm not sure since I'm so big.  I really tried to stick to the 25-35 pound weight gain, but I'm almost at 50.  Every girl I've talked to that is my height gained about 50 pounds.  Although it is uncomfortable, I've had a perfectly healthy pregnancy (thank God) so I will worry about the weight later!

I will continue to update until I deliver, but wanted to post some final thoughts should I have Stella early (which everyone predicts since I'm so big!)  Sometimes it feels like last week I took that pregnancy test, other times I feel like I've been pregnant for years.  Either way I look at it, I've loved every minute of being pregnant.  I'm thankful I didn't work during most of it and I am grateful for how healthy I've been (you know, once I got past that initial double ear infection and week on the couch).  My husband has been supportive, patient, and beyond helpful.  After 13 years I can honestly say I love him more every day.  Cheesy but couldn't be more true.  I am so excited to raise a family together, and if I do say so myself I think we'll do a pretty fine job.  And to my Stella:

I am so excited to meet you.  You already make me so happy, so brave, and so proud.  There are times I am nervous to bring you into this world, for it can be so cruel and is full of people with bad intentions and awful hearts.  But our world needs more light, more pureness, more genuinely good people.  And mark my words that is how you will be raised.  You will be loved unconditionally but disciplined when necessary.  You will be taught how to be independent, how to stand up for yourself, and how to be honest.  I am so thankful for all the bad stuff in my life that taught me to do better, and all the good stuff that kept my heart pure and my conscience clean.  My journey will allow me to be a better mommy, teacher, and friend (in that order) to you.  You have a dad who will make you laugh, teach you to defend yourself, and love you until the end of time.  You are coming into the biggest, silliest, most loving family that I could ever imagine.  You are a lucky little girl, and I can't wait to feel your wiggles, kicks and squirms from the outside.  We continue to pray for your healthy and safe arrival, and wait patiently until you decide to join us.

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