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Monday, December 16, 2013

Labor Encouragement Cards and 35 Weeks

I am having a hard time believing that in about a month we'll be the parents of a precious baby girl.  I mean, when I see my huge belly, it's not so hard to believe.

But when I stop to think about the details of labor, delivery, and nurturing a newborn, I feel like, "WHOA! Not so fast!"

I have begun preparing my labor and delivery encouragement cards so that I can actually study them beforehand this time in order to gain a deeper understanding of each verse, to apply it personally during labor.  I did this last time just about a week before delivering (sat down, wrote out the cards, then put them away until the big day came).  This time I am trying to do it earlier to make it more meaningful, and hopefully will be memorizing some scripture along the way. I have used these links (passionate homemaking,  my joy-filled life, and precious arrows birthing) to help me with it, plus just threw in several of my personal favorites that have a lot of meaning in my life. These are a few of my favorite verses I have on cards:

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I do like the option to buy the pre-made cards, but the elementary teacher in me has had fun writing and decorating them myself with markers.

I think all pregnant women should do something like this if words are encouraging to you in any way.  Even if you don't want Bible verses, you could do helpful quotes, and reassuring things instead.  I have a few of those too, for example I am going to put these on note cards as well because I find them inspiring:
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I also write starter sentence cards and have John complete them.  This is very encouraging for me to read in labor as well.  For example, I write:
"I love the way you.."
"I think you are pretty when..."
"I love it when we..."
"I think you are strong because..."
"Something I admire about you is..."
"I thank God that you..."
and then John fills in the rest of the sentence/card.

So then I have this cool little stack of about 25 cards with Bible verses, inspiring quotes, and encouragement from my husband.  I like to mix them all together and then read them often throughout labor.  It makes it very meaningful and personal.  I think even if you are planning on a medicated birth that these types of cards would be encouraging if words are meaningful to you.  Have you done this for labor? Did you have any other source ideas besides Scripture, famous quotes, and words from your partner?

This is a great website about non-medicated birth and other related things Birth Without Fear. I will also be putting together my playlist of music very soon!

We toured Huntsville Hospital a few days ago, and I was pleasantly surprised.  I had heard a lot of negative things about delivering at HH, however Crestwood is out of network for us (for now - we may change insurances in January).  On the tour I found out that they do in fact do most of the infant-care in the delivery room with mom present (unless it's a c-section, in which case you don't get to see the baby for about 2 hours).  They do encourage and allow immediate skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.  They do the infant bath in the room with the parents, so that the dad can be a part of it!  I asked if they have squat bars, and the guide enthusiastically responded that "Yes we do! We have all sorts of different stirrups and things for you to put your feet in while pushing!"  So I'm not sure if she knew what a squat bar was, or if they have them, but I did like having that during labor last time.  They seemed supportive of our doula, and happy to have her as well.  The recovery room on the fifth floor is much smaller than the one we had at Germantown in Memphis, but it shouldn't be a problem. I think we are going to politely but firmly ask for no visitors while we're in the hospital other than the grandparents.  It's such a short period of time with lots of nursing and bonding, and in a small room it will begin to feel crowded quickly.

We are also being very vigilant about the TDAP vaccination.  I just got one at my last doctor's appointment, and John will get one soon.  We have asked all immediate family to please get vaccinated as well because whooping cough/pertussis has been causing several infant deaths in the past few years.  Having Jonah born in May, I wasn't very cautious of germs/viruses.  Having a baby born in January feels much more virally risky, at the height of cold and flu season.  I am trying to relax and not worry too much about this.  My main strategy is just going to be to breast feed to help her build those germ-fighting antibodies and to stay at home with her most of the time in the first few weeks.  Mommies - how did/do you keep your little ones as healthy as possible?

I measured 3 cm larger than expected at my last OB appointment yesterday, so the doctor is having me get an ultrasound at my next appointment (the day after Christmas).  I think this is funny because I have been telling John that I look just as big right now (35 weeks) as I did with Jonah the week before he was born (39 weeks).  Here's the proof in the same shirt:
Left - 39 weeks with 1st Pregnancy, Right - 35 weeks with 2nd Pregnancy
The doctor said it could be because the baby is just big, or because my body is making amniotic fluid for some reason, or it could just be nothing.  After spending a little time with Dr. Google, because that's always reliable (I hope you can feel my sarcasm), my greatest fear would be that I am measuring large because she is in a breach position, which would likely qualify me for a C-section.  I am praying this is NOT the case because I really really do not want a C-section after having such a healthy regular birth last time.  So, please pray with us for a healthy baby and a healthy, natural labor and delivery again. :)

4 comments:

  1. Great post Kelly, I love the notecards idea! Praying for you and baby girl!

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    1. Thank you Tori! We appreciate your prayers!

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  2. Love the idea of the cards! I've had something similar on my to-do list but haven't done it yet. :)

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    1. Thanks! It really helped me last time. Go for it!

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