Yesterday I went into the birth center for my 39 week check up. All my stats and baby Jax are still right on track, looking good and healthy. Surprisingly I am already 2cm dilated, and 50% effaced. This means my body is already preparing for birth, but it could still be another week until my contractions start up. Such a contrast from my first, with Jocelyn, I labored 24 hours total, 12 being the pre-labor, and those first 12 hours that were hard work at home took me up to 4cm and 50% effaced. This time, all I had to do was get up out of bed, after a more uncomfortable than usual sleepless night. Still no regular contractions, though some continued Braxton hicks that are still scattered and not regular.
I had been feeling a new sensation that I brought up with my midwife, a central, isolated sharp pain right about my belly button in a small circle. She asked if I had any blurred vision, and I said yes that I get ocular migraines and this past week have had several, and 3 in just the last couple days alone. I told her that I've always dealt with these migraines so its not different inside or outside of pregnancy for me, but triggered by additional stress. She ran some tests on my urine to make sure that it was a sign of preeclampsia, which it wasn't (no protein in my urine, and normal/low blood pressure). She did say that I was dehydrated and to drink more water (which I already do a lot, but its Texas so I pretty much have to constantly be drinking water). Also I haven't had any spotting or bleeding, so she didn't think that it could be my placenta detaching in that area. She said that most likely its part of Jackson's position and early labor, with my effacement and dilation already starting. My pre-labor sensations were so different with Jocelyn, so I'm continuing to keep my mind, body, senses, and feelings open to what's to come as brand new and open to the experience which so far has already been so much different in a lot of ways.
The good news is that everything looks good, I'm healthy, his heart, my heart all perfect in tune and rhythm, and we have nothing to worry about. I just need to drink more water and continue to wait patiently. Honestly I'm not in a rush, these last few days with Jocelyn as my only child (on the outside) as so valuable to us as a family, and to her transition as a big sister, so we are soaking it all in, and ready for Jackson when he is ready to come to us and join our wild Texas bunch.
2 more of my moms from centering gave birth to their babies! At least the ones that I am sure of, that so far I believe puts us up to 4 out of 10 of us moms. A few of the other moms who started in our group had to leave for various other family reasons, but at our last centering meetings we had 2 of our core 10 with babies. I'm not sure who has the latest due date, but we'll see who's next... So looking forward to having our mini reunion with all of our little ones together.
In the meantime, I have my freezer stocked with Lasagna, Tamales, and frozen burritos that I made with lots of love for my family and the postpartum weeks to come. My labor bag is packed, I just need to bring my diffuser, oils, and speaker for music on my iphone. I also am going to work on a few playlists today (though last time we didn't really use music like we thought we would, it was just sort of there in the background - bob marley, and beach house). Everything is ready and feeling good and set for Jax, my sweet friend Crystal set up our mealtrain, and so this time around will be easier than last as far as keeping us all fed.
We took some family maternity pics this past weekend too, with my mom helping take some of the photos, and though we keep our kids pics private (our family pics are super cute with Joss, but they won't be posted online), here are some of me and my belly with Jax. Jocelyn had a lot of fun painting and decorating my belly in celebration of her little brother. I'm wearing my beautiful birthing necklace, with all of the charms, tokens, beads and love that were contributed to help me along in my journey through labor and delivery.
Here's the labor/birthing necklace on its own, with love from all corners of the country. I feel so much support, love and strength. Each piece is so special and sentimental in its own way, and Jackson will love having this piece of his history when he is older, just as his big sister cherished hers and her her own birth story. Thank you fam!
Since my 39 week check up had some progress, Jason's work allowed him to work from home for the rest of the time before he starts his 3 week paternity leave. It is such a breath of fresh air, such a relief, and so amazing to have him work for a company that respects his family time and our needs as much as they do. I know part of it is also working for such a larger company where so much weight isn't balanced on Jason's plate alone (which had been the trend of both of our careers to work for small businesses over the last decades). There are parts of working in a small growth-focused start up that has given us both as parents and providers strong senses of ownership, authority, and work ethics, but goddamn, having more help when we need it, with a strong team that he can manage is such a blessing. He's worked so hard to get here, and I'm so grateful for my hard-working partner, and proud papa.
Trying now to relax as much as I can, and caught up on some reading for my parenting book club. My mom's wrist/arm is feeling better all the time, and we have another physical therapy session today before we pick up Jocelyn that I will take her to. We really found a great facility to help with her therapy, and hopefully we can continue to keep taking her even after baby comes to keep her healing (now 10 weeks after her broken wrist). Even with a healing broken arm, its been so great to have Grandma here to help with Joss, and help with little things around the house, dishes and laundry, letting out Zombie, and helping us with grocery shopping. Such a relief to know that we can be ready at any time to deliver Jax, because Grandma is here to watch Joss... so grateful.