Overdue and over it

Today I’m 40 weeks, 4 days.

Still no baby…

I did lose my mucous plug over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean much.

I’ve been lucky to have minimal swelling during this pregnancy – even throughout the summer. Yesterday morning, I was on my feet doing some baking and cleaning in the kitchen. In the afternoon, we went for a walk at the lake. The result of both activities = I’ve officially got cankles. The swelling is starting to go down after elevating them and drinking a ton of water. I also convinced my husband to rub them and stimulate some of the acupressure induction points. This morning they looked decent, but by this evening they were swollen again.

Baby is moving well. Whenever he’s awake, I joke that he’s beating up my insides. I get a ton of cervical pressure as he moves around. A few nights ago, Bella our chihuahua was curled up against my belly and he kept kicking her. She didn’t move at all, so baby gave up. I found this quite amusing.

Tonight, I discovered my first hemorrhoid! WTF! I thought I would be able to escape without experiencing ANOTHER lovely pregnancy side effect. On that note, any suggestions for remedies? Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt at all yet. I read that it should go away after delivery, but what else can I do?

Other than that, it’s starting to get really annoying when people ask, “No baby yet?”. I can handle, “Hey we’re thinking of you!” or “How are you feeling?” or “Hope your little guy comes soon!”. But, “No baby yet?” is the stupidest question. If he was here, we would announce it. :/

I saw my chiropractor and my acupuncturist today. I also ate an entire pineapple (core included) hoping that might help. My plan is to just take it one day at a time until my next OB appointment on Thursday. I don’t have any other practitioner appointments scheduled. If I haven’t gone into labour by the end of the week, I’ll try to get into chiro/acupuncture on Saturday.

Here’s my latest bump pic – all low and lumpy bumpy. 🙂

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Here’s a comparison from last week to this week. Note: I was wearing my Bella Band last week which tends to smooth things out and give my belly more support. You will notice a significant drop in the belly though. I’m not sure how much further this little guy can get before he’s actually making his way out my vagina.

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Please continue sending birthing vibes my way. I’m aiming to naturally go into labour before the end of the week.

Please universe! Let’s make this happen! I trust in the timing and believe everything will unveil the way it’s meant to. 

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30 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 30 weeks and 4 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (250mg at bedtime as per my chiro’s recommendation), Gaviscon for heartburn as required (which is OFTEN!).

Baby is the size of: a cantaloupe or a winter squash

Best Moments This Week:

  • Feeling baby kick even harder and having my 3 year old niece feel him kick
  • Planning my Blessingway with my doula
  • Attending my husband’s cousin’s wedding – yes this baby bump even got up on the dance floor!
  • Attending my friend’s gender reveal party (add another one to Team Blue!)
  • Realizing we are in the single digits for weekly countdown – HOLY SHIT! There’s only 9 weeks and 3 days til my due date.

Total Weight Gain: an increase of 2.4 lbs over the past two weeks for a total of 12.6 lbs.

Maternity Clothes: All the time now. Still loving anything cotton and stretchy. I honestly have not worn jeans since May.

Symptoms:

  • Low iron = fatigue and some lightheadedness.
  • Peeing constantly
  • Sore back/shoulders – especially sore ribs. I’ve been doing lots of stretching to release this tension. By the end of the day, I just feel like my belly is so big and it’s pushing upwards on everything.
  • Sore belly – always growing!
  • Less heartburn!
  • Noticed some swelling in my ankles the day after the wedding.

Sleep: I slept great in a hotel this weekend, but I’m not sleeping as well at home. I get up to pee approximately every 2 hours. The dreams are still cr-cr-crazy! I tend to have the most bizarre dreams in the last sleep round before my alarm goes off. I anticipate my body doesn’t reach the deep sleep during that time because it knows it’s almost time to get up.

Food Cravings: French toast, salad, turkey stuffing – which I got at the wedding! WHOHOO!

Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of porta-potties: one of the joys of being pregnant at a country wedding (Yes I puked in my mouth a few times). Puking acid in the morning after forgetting to take my Ranitidine at bedtime last night.

Movement: He must be shy because he’s usually quite calm when I’m around a lot of people (i.e. at the wedding), but when I’m home or in a quiet situation, he’s moving constantly. You can see my belly move sometimes now. He also kicked Bella the chihuahua when she was laying on my lap one morning.

Stretch Marks: On my lower tummy

Baby Bump: Growing and growing… I feel like I’m HUGE now

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie

Wedding Rings on or off?: Off due to the heat.

Happy or Moody?: I’ve been good lately. No major mood swings.

Purchases for baby: More clothes, a storage bin and a mirror for the nursery

Purchases for Momma: Nothing this week

Miss Anything?: Being able to sleep reclined, being able to get out of bed without major effort

Looking forward to:

  • Receiving our custom built rocking chair to finish the nursery.
  • Being off work in 7 weeks

Rising up through fear during a pregnancy after loss

At our first hypnobirthing class, the instructor asked what your biggest fear about pregnancy/delivery was.

My answer: “That we will lose this baby”.

Yes, I was THAT weirdo. No one else even mentioned pregnancy loss but me.

Fear happens after you endure infertility and loss. It’s inevitable.

I’ve been feeling good lately. I’m balanced and ready. Fear doesn’t overwhelm me which has made me ponder what I did to rise up out of my fear during this pregnancy after loss.

Take it in small milestones

From Day 1, I approached this pregnancy by focusing on the small milestones – first beta, second beta, first ultrasound, etc. My goal was to make it to the next milestone without enduring intense anxiety and fear.

Did I always succeed? Not every day.

But, I always knew that I could start fresh the next day.

Reaching the 20 week mark and having our anatomy scan was the biggest milestone for me. It validated my intuition about us having a boy and ensured us that he was growing and healthy. It also marked the halfway point. If we had made it that far, we could and would keep going.

Remember your blessings, honour your grief

Passing the estimated due date of our Angel was another huge step for me. I dreaded this day from the minute we lost her. I’m still unsure how I will react as we pass the 1st anniversary of her leaving us, but I know we have so much more joy now – knowing that her brother is on his way and she is watching over us.

Be grateful (even if it sucks)

Has pregnancy been easy on me? Hardly. Puking daily even while taking anti-nausea meds isn’t an enjoyable experience. Each negative symptom was a sign that my body was pregnant. And if puking my guts out was the only reassurance I could get that my baby was alive and well, then I was willing to take it.

The past few weeks have seemed more real. As my belly grows bigger each day and my little man kicks up a storm (because since his last growth spurt, he boots me constantly), I have those visual reminders that he’s here with me. He’s growing. I’m growing. We are doing this together.

I couldn’t be more grateful for all the symptoms and pregnancy side effects.

Trust
This one is the hardest step to accomplish. Trust in the process. Trust in the timing. Trust in your body’s ability. Trust that your baby will arrive safely into this world.

One of the easiest ways to build your trust is to surround yourself with positivity and support.

Get off those crazy Mommy boards. Only Google if your gut tells you something is legit wrong. Ditch the nay-sayers and negative Nancy’s.

Use affirmations if it helps. Hypnobirthing offers many great ones. You can even purchase the book/CD without attending the class.

I don’t focus on what could go wrong anymore. I have educated myself on my birth options and am leaving them open enough to protect myself and my baby. For me, it’s been easier to trust knowing that I don’t have any complications right now. It’s also been reassuring to have a calm and confident OB.

Building trust in your body, in your baby, in your doctor, in God, the Universe – whatever works for you – is key to making through each day during a pregnancy after loss.

Enjoy each moment you have

We have loved our baby from the start – from when we simply thought about having him, through all of the treatments, up until we first saw him on the screen at our transfer, right up until now at 30 weeks pregnant. We only have an estimated 10 weeks left until we get to meet him face to face. I just want to make the most of it.

We talk to him. We joke about him. We daydream about what he will be like. We track his growth and progress using pregnancy apps. We share in his movements which is one of my favourite times of the day. My husband loves feeling him move.

Seeing the joy and excitement in my husband has sparked my own joy and excitement.

We deserve to feel happy now.

If there’s anything that pregnancy loss has taught me, it’s that we can’t control the outcome no matter how hard we try. Instead of worrying about it, my husband and I are embracing each moment we have with our son.

Now that I’m in the 3rd trimester, this list doesn’t look much different than the one I created in my 1st trimester. Pregnancy after loss is a journey no matter what stage you are at. What matters is that you rise up through the fear and into love. ❤

Refer to my favourite pregnancy after loss articles for more tips, advice and reassurance from other Angel Mommas. ❤ You aren’t alone on this journey. XO

Facing fears during pregnancy after loss

Before we took our hypnobirthing classes, I was struggling with a lot of fear – about the upcoming anatomy scan, reaching viability, etc. Hitting 20 weeks was a huge milestone for me. This timing perfectly coincided with a hypnobirthing class on releasing fears. My husband and I both wrote down a list of anything that was bothering us and released each item through a visualization exercise.

On Monday night, we met with our doula to discuss our birth preferences. I prefer the term preferences because we all know that you can’t plan exactly how your labour and delivery will go.

I told her that my biggest outstanding fear is the potential for going overdue and resulting in a stillborn. I thought this fear might impact some of my birth preferences (i.e natural labour onset versus induction), but that I want to dig deeper into it and try to release it before I make a definite choice.

My doula was very reassuring that fears are a normal process of the journey. She reminded me of the statistics around gestational periods and how we can always use more natural ways to induce labour before seeking medical intervention.

My best friend is due to have her baby next week. She visited her OB this morning to discuss the possibility of induction.  She’s having regular monitoring to ensure that everything is ok.

I reminded her that she needs to trust her intuition. If she feels like anything is wrong, then she should go directly to the hospital. Then I realized, I need to listen to my own advice.

I am a highly intuitive Momma.

I believe that everything will be fine.

I believe that I can have the natural birth I desire if it’s my preference to do so.

I am grateful for every kick my little boy gives me as it reassures me that he’s alive in there.

I am excited to welcome him into our world.

So, I’ll continue facing my fears during this pregnancy after loss, trusting in the process and continually growing as the journey moves on.

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What are your biggest fears? How are you dealing with them? 

Answering the question: do you plan on having more children?

Last night at our hypnobirthing class, another gal asked me if we want to have more than one child.

I fumbled for words and replied with, “Ummm, ughh, well… we might have to pay for another child. Yes we would love to have one, but we may have to do IVF again”.

If there’s a set of questions that has bothered me since we got pregnant, it’s that: Will you do IVF again? Do you plan on having more children?

When you face infertility, the answer is never simple.

I didn’t plan on struggling to get pregnant.

I didn’t plan on doing IVF.

I didn’t plan on losing our first baby.

We would love to have two children on earth. I’ve always pictured myself with two kids – the perfect family of four. We do have many options to make that happen. Although when you have difficulty conceiving on your own, the options become complicated, emotionally-charged and costly.

The hardest part about these questions is that I feel like it detracts from this pregnancy.

Can’t we be left alone to enjoy growing and bringing our son into the world?

Why do we need to rush life and prepare for the future?

Infertility and pregnancy loss teaches you to slow down; to cherish the small milestones. Deep down, you know that nothing is guaranteed. Life could change instantaneously and completely side-rail your plans. You take life one day at a time, one step at a time.

So, what’s our future family plan?

We aren’t thinking about it.

When the time feels right, we will entertain our options for growing our family.

Right now, we are going to cherish each and every second we have with our son and welcome him with love into this world. He’s our focus right now. We’ve worked so hard to have him.

Our family is growing by one beautiful baby boy – and for now, that’s enough for us.

A good read for Rainbow Mommas

I just finished reading Celebrating Pregnancy Again by Franchesca Cox.

Francesca’s story details her journey from pregnancy loss to pregnancy after loss. Her story is a raw tale of how she balanced her grief and joy during her rainbow pregnancy. It also includes tips and advice for how to handle the “new normal” and find ways to celebrate your pregnancy, even when you are fearful.

I highly recommend this book to any Momma experiencing pregnancy or parenting after loss who is needing some reassurance that she is not alone, her feelings are normal and her experiences are valid.

This book was an easy read, only 74 pages!

Best of all: the Kindle edition is FREE. Download it now.

celebrating pregnancy again

My favourite pregnancy loss articles

Whenever I’m feeling judged, lost, confused or needing some reassurance that what I’m experiencing is “normal” (if normal can even be used to describe such a thing), I turn to two online magazines.

1. Standing Still 

2. Pregnancy after Loss Support

Here’s a list of my favourite articles relating to grief and pregnancy loss:

I hope these help you find some comfort no matter where you are at in your journey after loss. ❤