Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3rd Pregnancy: Week 38

Yall. The best thing happened to me this week. My very closest friends put on a beautiful and sacred Blessingway for me. If you have never heard of a Blessingway, I'll briefly describe it. It is a borrowed ceremony from an old Native American tradition celebrating a woman's rite of passage into motherhood. It is a gathering of special women to create a loving and supportive group to prepare the mother for her upcoming birth. The purpose was to really come beside me to empower me with support, encouragement, and prayers as I transition from pregnancy to childbirth and into motherhood (again). 

Everyone was either a very dear and close friend or part of my birth team, so it was a very intimate gathering. Everyone took off their shoes and rinsed their hands to symbolically wash any negativity into the Blessingway and future birthing space. The room was decorated with red tool to symbolize the red tent, taken from the book The Red Tent, where women gathered back in historic times to birth their babies or let their time of the month pass. 

Each friend brought a bead to make a bracelet and a written blessing. Not everyone knew each other so they went around telling how we met and said positive affirmations about me, which to be honest was hard to fully accept the positive attributes they were attaching to my name! Who knew I could be bashful! As they spoke these over me, they lit candles that will be relit once I go into labor at each of their homes. Dianne adorned my head with a beautiful flower crown, and each friend wrote an affirmation to add to my birth affirmation banner that will be hung just beside the birth pool. Jessica washed my feet cleansing me from my feet all the way up to my head, blessing me in every way. They circled around me and prayed for me. They created a circle using red yarn to tie us together as a strong circle of women supporting me in this journey and rite of passage that child birth is. Afterward, Jenna drew a beautiful design on my belly with henna while everyone else drew designs on each other. 

Altogether the night was magical, quaint, and beautiful! 

The food.

Oh my goodness, the food and the wine (yes, I definitely had a sip) was DELICIOUS. They totally nailed my dream Blessingway. There were fine cheeses, fruits, nuts, chocolate covered blueberries, hummus, veggies, dips, crackers, dried fruits and cold cuts spread around on different platters. This Mediterranean spread made this girl's heart so incredibly happy!  

Enjoy these photos and get a sneak of what my birth space will look like!

All photos taken by Lauren Hodges with Lo Photo

How far along? 38 weeks
Baby is as long as a: Leek (19 1/2 inches) 
Total weight gain: 24 pounds 
Update from the midwife: I actually had two appointments within this period, 6 days apart. Baby's heart beat both times was 125-135bpm and my fundal height was 35cm. This fundal height measurement can be super inaccurate if baby is in a funky position or dropped down low, but I have been measuring 2-3 weeks behind this whole pregnancy. The centimeters should typically align with how many weeks you are pregnant!

Waist Measurement: 40 inches. Same as the previous weeks...
Maternity clothes? Maternity pants or I just wear too tight of shorts with no shame out in public. 
Stretch marks? NOPE!!! Yayyyy!
Best moment this week: By far the Blessingway... it was a dream come true!
Movement: Tons of movement, but I constantly feel an elbow right above the left side of my pelvis. I'm constantly poking it back in there.
Food cravings: Still nothing crazy.
Miss Anything? Nothing I can think of... I've stopped sleeping on the hard floor next to Judah to get him to go back to sleep in the middle of the night, but, honestly, I didn't like doing that in the first place and now I have an excuse.
Gender: Boy, I'm thinking, but EVERYONE ELSE is singing "girl!"
Symptoms: Just one incidence of nausea and vomited and one night of back pain that felt strangely like back labor from my previous births. 
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood? Overly excited. I have gotten my birth space ready to go! Preparing for this birth is so different when you are able to decorate the room you are potentially giving birth in. I hung up some string curtain lights, rearranged my plants, put a small table with an oil diffuser on top, hung up a banner with my birth affirmations written by my friends at my Blessingway, and moved the loveseat out of the way to make room for where the birth pool is going to go. Our connector is already attached to our shower head and the hose is draped around it ready to fill the birth pool.