How far along: 38 weeks 3 days!!! (11 days and counting! Estimated of course)
Size of baby: About the size of a pumpkin, about 6.8 pounds, and 19 1/2 inches long
Weight gain: 29 pounds
Symptoms: Feeling good...not much to report. Well, Braxton Hicks ('practice' contractions) are in full force but thankfully aren't painful. Just noticeable. My belly tightens up and becomes a perfect hard circle for a minute or so.
Movement: I still love feeling this baby girl move. A few jabs have taken my breath away and I swear she's about to jump out of my skin but obviously that didn't happen. She is now shifting from having her back at my left side to having her back on my right side. But she's still head down, wahoo!
Preparations for baby: We've hired a doula! What is a doula you ask? Well here you go:
What is a doula?
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
- Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
My birth plan is to have a natural unmedicated childbirth and most likely a water birth. Having this plan we decided to hire a doula who has attended LOTS of births and will be my 'labor coach' to help me have the birth experience I want to have. Most doctors and midwives may come and go during labor but the doula will be there start to finish.
We are also currently taking a childbirth class. It's a 12 hour course that we're taking every Sunday for 3 weeks. One more class to go so we hope Reese let's us finish our last class on March 10.
We found our doula and class at Labor of Love (alaboroflove.org). Working with this company has been nothing short of amazing and I'm excited beyond words for labor as I know it will eventually lead to me meeting my little Reese face to face!
And of course there's been more progress on the nursery! I've been painting, recycling and hanging!