The Birth Story of Little W Part 2

This feels long overdue but I finally have a chance to sit down at my computer with both hands free.

This post is about labor so there will be typical labor things mentioned: dilation, fluids, stitches, etc. I’ll try to keep the nitty gritty out of this post, but if labor posts aren’t your thing, here’s the short version: I went to the hospital, labored, got an epidural, and had a baby boy.

To read Part 1, click here.


As I waited for my mom to arrive my contractions continued and not only that, but they began to get closer together. I started to think that this was labor but assumed I would have hours and hours to go. I figured early labor would last well into the next day and that my husband would be able to sleep all night, we’d have breakfast, and then we’d go to the hospital. And God (lovingly) said, “Hahaha.”

After my mom arrived (around midnight or 1:00 a.m.) I gave her the scoop on my blood pressure and contractions. She asked for details on C’s schedule and what activities/movies/etc. were okay if labor continued and we were to head to the hospital. After she was settled, I microwaved my rice sock and got ready for bed. I wish I had peeked at C one last time before I went to bed but I didn’t want to disturb him. I think I instinctively knew that this would be his last day as an only child (I was glad I read some extra bedtime stories that night). I gave my doula a heads up and went to bed.

I placed the rice sock under my belly and dozed through contractions for a while, they were 10 minutes apart and very manageable. I would wake for them, but all I needed to do was adjust the rice sock and breathe a little, then I would doze off again. After about an hour of this, I rolled over to try sleeping on my other side and things suddenly changed very drastically.

All of a sudden, my contractions were much more intense. There was no dozing, breathing took focus, and laying down was torture. They were also much closer together. I went from contractions 10 minutes apart to two minutes apart. I got up and stood at the side of the bed for a few contractions. I woke my husband and said we needed to go to the hospital. Now. I got dressed and added a few last-minute items to my bag between contractions and my husband got ready. We said goodbye to my mom, left her with car keys, and headed out the door. I called my doula as we were getting in the car and told her to meet us at the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, contractions stayed at the same intensity but slowed a bit. I expected this because it happened during my labor with C and it is not uncommon for a change in environment to slow things down for a while.

Contractions picked back up as we walked into the hospital. Walking through my contractions was possible, but not pleasant. When we got to the ER I told the nurse I was in labor and she directed us to L&D. I was surprised they didn’t offer to wheel me up to L&D like they did with my first labor, but I was glad they didn’t since sitting was not all that comfortable.

When we arrived at L&D around 3:00 a.m., they checked me into a triage room, gave me a gown, and had me hooked up to the monitors to get a feel for where I was with labor. After they got me hooked up they took my blood pressure and it was still high, possibly higher than at my appointment but I don’t remember exactly. Because of my blood pressure, they wanted to get me hooked up to an IV and keep me on the monitor. I had hoped to be intermittently monitored because it allowed for better movement and walking, but high blood pressure is a very valid reason to stay monitored so I didn’t care. During all of this, they checked me for dilation and I was at a 3 and 80% effaced.

I was disappointed to hear I was only at 3 centimeters, but contractions were increasing in intensity and getting consistent again, so I knew labor was continuing. I also knew that with my blood pressure the way it was, it was better to be at the hospital instead of at home.

I was in triage for quite a while because it was a little difficult to get ahold of the OB on-call for my office. Once the nurses were able to get ahold of the OB, I was finally moved to a room. I was ready to get to a room and feel more comfortable. Triage felt like more of a holding tank and we spent the whole time waiting for someone to walk in. While a hospital room is not home, it feels much more comfortable and private compared to triage. I was also getting tired of sitting through contractions on the little triage bed. However, the contractions must have been doing their job because when they checked me again at about 4:45 a.m., I was 5-6 centimeters dilated.

Once in my room, we got settled and tried to make things more comfortable. I set up my little diffuser with lavender oil and changed into my labor clothes instead of the hospital gown. I was still on the monitor, but I was able to be off of the IV and I was free to use the bathroom or move around as much as I wanted, I was even offered the walking monitor if I wanted it. I had thought about walking the halls, but with the contractions coming closer together again and growing in intensity, I felt more comfortable staying in the room.

I spent contractions sitting on a ball leaning over the bed, on the ball leaning on my husband’s lap as he sat on the bed, and standing leaning on my husband. They were coming about 5-6 minutes apart and required focus. Moaning through contractions also helped me focus on something other than the pain. While my husband supported me or held my hand, my doula rubbed my back and offered additional encouragement. It was nice to be able to lean on my husband and have someone there to rub my back as well. With both of my babies I have had back labor, so being able to lean over and having my back rubbed provide the most comfort and relief during labor.

By 6:20 a.m. contractions were coming steadily and increasing in intensity. The nurses started bringing things in because, as one nurse said, “it sounds like things will be happening soon.” Apparently, they were also taking bets on when my baby would be born 😛 With how quickly things were going, I didn’t think they were wrong. (With my first, it took a very long time for me to get to 6 centimeters, so to go from a 3 to 5-6 in a little over an hour was incredibly fast!)

I met the on-call OB from my midwife’s office and we talked about my birth plan a little. She had no problems with it and even complimented me on my note for double stitches should a c-section be necessary. She checked me to see where I was at and I was at a 6-7 and very stretchy – progress. She said I was doing great and that she would be around. I was thrilled and shocked to be progressing so quickly, I had really expected a very full day of labor. However, I also started to get scared at this point. It was becoming very real and imminent that I would have to push a baby out of my body. I knew that my body was capable of this, God designed the female body to do this and I had done it once before. The knowledge that I would be doing it without an epidural really started to make me nervous though, and I think I started to get hung up on that.

As the contractions continued to intensify and come every few minutes, I started focusing on my fears too much. The fact that I had only had a contraction filled nap for an hour and had not really slept since the night before was also catching up to me. I started praying for strength because I was getting tired and scared.

To be continued…

Labor and Delivery Part 2 (2)

The Birth Story of Little W Part 1

This feels long overdue but I finally have a chance to sit down at my computer with both hands free.

This post is about labor so there will be typical labor things mentioned: dilation, fluids, stitches, etc. I’ll try to keep the nitty gritty out of this post, but if labor posts aren’t your thing, here’s the short version: I went to the hospital, labored, got an epidural, and had a baby boy.


Wednesday, January 3, I had my 39-week midwife appointment. At 39+2 I was feeling pregnant as ever, had been having semi-consistent contractions for weeks, and was more than ready to meet my baby. My husband had the day off so he and C hung out at home while I went to my appointment. I took the stairs to encourage baby to get in position and thought about buying some pineapple after my appointment to encourage labor.

As usual, my blood pressure was taken at the beginning of my appointment. Usually, my blood pressure is fine, if not low, but today it was more elevated than it had been my entire pregnancy. The nurse waited a few minutes and took my blood pressure again. It was still high. I started to feel a little concerned, but the nurse said we would wait for my midwife and see what she wanted to do. My midwife asked how I was feeling, checked Baby’s heartbeat, measured my belly, and checked for dilation (I was 70% effaced and 2 cm dilated if you’re curious). I asked her if she could do a membrane sweep and she did what she could.

After performing the sweep, she asked if I had experienced any other symptoms like headaches. I told her about my contractions and explained that I really hadn’t had any headaches. She said she wanted my blood pressure checked again and ordered some lab work to be safe. She popped out and the nurse came back to take my blood pressure again. My blood pressure was still high so my midwife came back. She was concerned and asked me about my symptoms again. She told me if I experienced any symptoms typical of preeclampsia or if I felt odd at all to just head into labor and delivery – better safe than sorry.

After getting my lab work done I texted my doula to keep her in the loop and then I headed home. I was unnerved about my blood pressure but tried not to worry. As I drove I prayed and asked God for peace. I remember praying, “If my blood pressure is going to be an issue, please let this baby come today or tonight.”

We spent the day like we normally would: I did some baby laundry and our own laundry, we played with our son, and then we had tacos for dinner. I threw a few peppers on my taco to encourage labor. I’d had a few consistent contractions that afternoon but they stopped, as usual. I resigned myself to being pregnant forever.

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As the evening went on I had contractions that started to get consistent. They weren’t increasing in intensity but I couldn’t shake an uneasy feeling about my blood pressure. I felt fine, but I was worried about something changing and having to wake C to take him somewhere in the middle of the night. Several trusted friends and family had offered to take C if needed, but I really wanted him to be able to sleep in his own bed. My husband and I decided to ask my mom to come that night.

Despite consistent contractions, I was hesitant to believe that this was finally early labor. Looking back, I should have known because when I prepared dinner that night I compulsively cleaned the refrigerator and freezer (we didn’t even need anything from the freezer for dinner) and later scrubbed the floor around our toilet after giving C a bath. Clearly, I was nesting but I didn’t want to believe it.

I read C a few extra stories that night, gave him an extra hug, and tidied the apartment as I waited for my mom to arrive. Later, I was glad I gave C some extra snuggles that night.

Click here for part 2!

Labor and Delivery Part 1

Guest Post: DIY Nursing Balm

Hello there! Since I am busy snuggling (and feeding and changing) a newborn, my dear friend Hannah has a guest post for all of you today! Hannah recently gifted me this amazing nipple cream before my second son was born and after using it I was convinced it was magic! Now I’m sure the fact that I’ve breastfed before and knew what a bad latch looked like helped but still, this cream has been incredibly helpful with newly nursing pain. So, without further ado, here is Hannah and the recipe for this amazing nipple cream!


Okay mamas, listen up! I’m going to share with you my secret breastfeeding weapon, and it’s THIS cream. I’ve had a pretty smooth breastfeeding experience with both of my babies, and I attribute it to a good latch and this DIY nipple cream.

nipple cream

I actually stumbled upon this recipe by accident. When I was pregnant with my daughter, the store bought cream freaked me out. I wasn’t even as concerned about using natural products in our home as I am now, but knowing that my new baby was going to be practically ingesting what I was going to be applying, I felt like there had to be a better way. I have nothing against those who use lanolin, or any other creams (no, mom-shaming here!) – I just prefer not to use them. I found some different recipes on Pinterest, and came up with this!

Now, when I made this nipple cream initially, I didn’t even appreciate the effect the Lavender essential oil would have on my tender nipples – I just wanted something that was good for my newborn. BUT, after talking to other moms, I’ve realized that I tend to have an easier time breastfeeding than most (at least for those first few weeks), and I’m convinced that it’s due to the Lavender oil in this cream. I’ve never experienced open sores, cracked nipples, or bleeding: just a little tenderness at the beginning.

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I have to say that I am pretty committed when it comes to using the cream. I bring it to the hospital with me, and apply it after each and every feeding, from birth. After 2-3 weeks, when I don’t feel there is a need, I stop. I pull it back out if I ever experience any irritation and I’m back to normal within a day or two. Like I mentioned before, I also always make sure that my baby has a good latch, even if that means taking them off to reposition them mid-feeding.

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It’s important to note that you should only use the highest quality of ingredients and essential oils for this nipple cream recipe. I am only comfortable using Young Living essential oils, especially when it comes to ingestion. Lavender essential oil has soothing properties that support comfort and healing – great for the beating those poor nipples take!

Head on over to Hannah’s site to read the full recipe and DIY.


Hi! I’m Hannah. I married my high school sweetheart, Karter, and together we have two babies – Violet is 1.5 and Oliver is 6 months old. I’m a stay at home mama who hopes to inspire other mamas to draw closer to Jesus while navigating all-things motherhood. I love to talk pregnancy, wellness, oils, parenting, cooking, crafting, photography, and everything DIY. I’m passionate about natural living and natural wellness, and love to share about how we are transforming our home by replacing our products with natural options.

hannah

Baby #2 Announcement

Hello, all! Last week I finally wrote out my 39-week pregnancy update and told you that Baby arrived at 39 weeks 3 days! BUT, I didn’t tell you if Baby is a boy or a girl. Sorry to leave you hanging on that 😉 This is not my labor/birth story, I haven’t written it out yet, but I wanted to do a little announcement like I did with my first child.

Announcing Little W

On January 4 at 2:58 p.m. our second child was born. Little W came into the world happy, healthy, and looking just like his dad!

That’s right, Baby #2 is a little boy! Bring on the boy mom hashtags and consider me even more outnumbered. It’s safe to say that my gender prediction post was wrong, but how accurate are wives tales anyway? 😉

We’ve been quietly adjusting to life as a family of four and enjoying all of the newborn snuggles and toddler “Ah- luh yoos” (I love you) directed at Mommy, Daddy, and Baby. My husband has had some paternity leave, which has been amazing, and Little C is adjusting well so far, but we are giving him grace because his whole world just changed! I am tired (#momlife) but so very happy to be a mom of two little boys.

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I’ll share my birth story soon, but I want to savor this time with my newborn and get a few details straight (you forget a lot during labor). If you just can’t wait and need to satisfy your birth story itch, here is the story of Little C’s birth.

Later this week my friend Hannah has a guest post for you! You can check out her lovely blog here.

39-Week Bumpdate

Week thirty-nine has arrived and with it, something special 😉 Read on to hear about week thirty-nine.

Oh, Baby

This week Baby is considered full term and, depending on the office, elective induction is on the table. Baby is just finishing up and gaining weight so it is really just a waiting game.

Symptoms

Fatigue; decrease in appetite; nesting… This week has been a mixed bag as far as symptoms. Early in the week, I was just exhausted (but this has been the case for a few weeks). But despite being exhausted, I began making some items in case Baby was a girl (we had three dresses and that’s it!) and on Wednesday evening I compulsively cleaned my fridge and toilet – like hands and knees scrubbing. I keep my kitchen and bathroom clean by doing a weekly deep clean, but this was a little excessive.

Starting last week and continuing this week, I noticed a decrease in appetite. All I wanted to eat was fruit or anything light. I sounded like my toddler, always asking for applesauce. 😛

The contractions also continued this week, but they weren’t acting enough like real labor to really warrant any action.

Baby Prep

This week I made a few dresses and skirts in case Baby is a girl and re-arranged the Baby Corner in our room. I washed a few final items and finished crocheting a car seat blanket. Someone made a very sweet car seat blanket for my son so I wanted one for Baby as well.

Labor Prep

This week I was all about the labor prep. We had hit 39 weeks and at 39 weeks on the dot, it was January 1. This meant that my husband was now eligible for two weeks of paid paternity leave, so I was “free” to bring on the baby 😛

I sat on the ball, a lot. I did hip circles and figure-8s on the ball as well. I took the stairs to my midwife appointment because I didn’t have my toddler and a stroller with me, and I even made labor cookies.

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Let me tell you about labor cookies: eat with caution. The instructions say to eat five and take a nap or eat the entire batch. I ate two and felt like I was dying. They are hot. Consume with copious amounts of milk. Also, warn any family members so they don’t suffer by accidentally eating an un-labeled labor cookie.

Since the labor cookies were a little much we also had tacos with chilis and some extra pepper to get things rolling.

My midwife appointment was the day I hit 39 weeks and 2 days, the same length as my first pregnancy. At this appointment, I asked for a membrane sweep or as good of a cervical check as possible. I was 39 weeks, I had been having contractions for weeks, and my midwife had no qualms about it, so she did what she could. I was 70% effaced and dilated to a 2, a slight improvement from my previous appointment.

All About that Bump

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In the evening when I was 39+2 I told my child they had a matter of hours (four at that point) to “beat” or tie their brother… not a peep was heard. Ha! I didn’t think my ultimatum would make much of a difference, I highly doubted I would have a labor shorter than 12 hours, let alone one that would be four hours.

However, it didn’t take long for Baby to make up his/her mind and the show was finally on the road. At 39 weeks and 3 days, Baby #2 made his/her appearance!

I’ll have to keep you in suspense a little longer, but I promise to post a little announcement post next week! I will be sharing my labor story as well, but I like to savor it and think over my labors for a while before sharing them online, so I can’t give a timeline on that just yet. I will say that this labor was very different from my first and I think it is amazing what you learn each time you bring a child into the world!

Disposable Diaper Showdown

If a baby is in your life, will be in your life, or if you know someone bringing a baby into their life, then diapers will probably come up from time to time. Okay, daily. I’m a mom of a toddler with a newborn on the way so diapers are a part of my daily life and will be for quite some time.

I remember before my son was born, I was overwhelmed by all of the diaper choices. Green diapers, budget diapers, brand names, store brands… there are so many diapers and so many reasons to chose each brand! Once my son was born, I quickly found out that some diapers not only perform better than others but not all diapers agree with all babies. So, here is a run-down of the diapers my family has tried and which diapers have (and haven’t) worked for us.

Every family has diapers that they like and diapers that they don’t like. This post contains my opinion on the diapers I have used and my experiences with them. If your family has had a different experience with these diapers and they work for you, then by all means, continue to use the diapers you like! I am just sharing my opinion and thoughts, I am not trying to convert you.

This is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links. Affiliate links mean that, at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission when you use the links to make a purchase. To read the full disclosure, click here.

Huggies

Sometimes you just need a quality diaper and I have found this to be true of the Huggies brand. These diapers are my go-to when I need to clear up a diaper rash or need a good diaper for long car rides. They are soft, fit well, and do what a diaper does best – absorb. I like their Little Snugglers diapers for the tiny sizes and Little Movers for toddler sizes. I am not as big of a fan of the Snug and Dry diapers because I don’t find them to be as soft as the other two. However, other moms love them! I am also a huge fan of the Huggies OverNites diapers, but they are NOT worth it until your child sleeps through the night.

Huggies diapers are one of the more expensive diapers out there, but I find them worth the cost. You get what you pay for in the best way with Huggies diapers.

Pampers

Hospitals start your baby out with Pampers diapers, commercials brag them up, and our pediatrician’s office stocks them for diaper oopsies. However, I’m just not a fan. They are one of the most expensive diapers out there (with the exception of “green” diapers), which was an immediate turn off for me, and when I used them I found that they just didn’t get the job done. In our family, they do not work well with sensitive skin (rashes!). Others have had the opposite experience but this was not the case with us. It is actually the main reason I’m bringing our own diapers to the hospital for Baby #2, because I don’t want a repeat of what happened last time. Plus, when Pampers diapers get full they feel wet on the outside. I wouldn’t say that they leak necessarily, but they just feel weird. For me, Pampers diapers are not the way to go.

Seventh Generation

I have a love-hate relationship with these diapers. I love that they are a green diaper that is available in most grocery stores. I love that they are good with sensitive skin, I love that they are not as expensive as other green diapers, and I love the new redesign that added a little pattern to the diaper. They are softer than they look and if the fit is good they get the job done. But, there are some draw-backs to Seventh Generation diapers.

First, they are more expensive than your run-of-the-mill diaper. Second, the fit isn’t always the best. I have learned the hard way that these diapers run big, and the fit is key with diapers! Lastly, don’t waste your money on Seventh Generation’s overnight diapers. Just don’t. I tried using the overnight diapers for a while and they leaked 100% of the time. I even had one leak during the day during a normal gap between diaper changes. Their regular diapers absorb better for both the daytime and night time. If you want an overnight diaper, look elsewhere.

Luvs

I love a lot of things about Luvs diapers. They are affordable, you get your bang for your buck, and they are everywhere. Plus they’re purple and I like purple 🙂 Luvs are just as absorbent as the big brands (Pampers and Huggies) and they’re soft as well. I love a lot of things about Luvs! A draw-back with Luvs is that they tend to run small, so don’t be surprised if you have to go up a size much sooner than expected. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly diaper recommendation, I recommend Luvs.

Little Journeys (Aldi)

I love Aldi. I love these diapers. I am a big fan of Aldi’s diapers. I remember I was so excited when I saw that they were coming out with a baby line! What I love most about Aldi diapers is that they are affordable! You get a good bang for your buck with Aldi diapers. Not only are the diapers affordable, they are cute, absorbent, and have double-cuffs to prevent leaks. They are also hypoallergenic and have a cloth-like back panel. These diapers are hit-and-miss as overnight diapers, but I find them to be excellent for daily wear. Some moms have had issues with Aldi diapers (leaks, rashes, etc.), but I have not found this to be true for our family with this brand.

The only draw-back with Aldi diapers is that they are only available at Aldi, so if an Aldi is not nearby and you need diapers, you’ll have to find another diaper. Still, I hands-down recommend Aldi diapers.

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What about you?

What disposable diapers do you like for your family? What diapers did not work for your family? What diapers have you tried or what diapers do you want to try? I’d love to hear your experience!

38-Week Bumpdate

T H I R T Y – E I G H T  W E E K S ! I feel like I should be surprised that week 38 has come and gone but I have definitely been feeling like this pregnancy will never end. Still, it’s been an eventful week!

Oh Baby

All information is from the Ovia pregnancy app.

This week Baby is probably around the 7lb range and likely over 19 inches long. With how much this baby likes to stretch out, I think this baby may be longer than that. Baby’s lungs keep producing more surfactant and may even be able to fully inflate his/her lungs on his/her own if Baby was born today. Pretty much everything is functional at this point. It’s just a waiting game.

My Symptoms

Can you say prodromal labor? I can. Can you say false alarm? I can say that too. In fact, let’s say it three times. Yep. This week has been more prodromal labor and false alarms. In total, between week 35 and now I have had three distinct times where I figured I’d be heading to the hospital later that day/night. I’ve told my mom and doula to be ready three times and three times I’ve told them “nevermind”. Once this week my contractions were actually regular and getting closer together. They started out about 18 minutes apart, went to nine minutes apart, and then went to six minutes apart. And then they just quit. There had even been a change in intensity too! Prior to this, my contractions had been mostly irregular but there was an obvious change in intensity as time went on. I thought with subsequent pregnancies I would know when it was labor time but I honestly was more sure about labor with my first than I have been this time around.

The physical part of this prodromal labor and all of the false alarms isn’t all that tiring but the mental aspect of, “Is this labor?” and thinking over and over again, “I’m going to meet my baby today” but not actually being in labor or meeting my baby is incredibly exhausting. The third trimester is already exhausting but the uncertainty and false alarms definitely make it worse.

Babies come out eventually, right? (I sure hope so).

Also this week: heartburn, indigestion, a stomach bug, exhaustion, and only having 3 clothing items that fit. Hello, end of the third trimester.

I am convinced that God allows the end of the third trimester to be some shade of miserable so that we are willing to go through labor and delivery (however that ends up looking). When the options are staying pregnant forever or having a baby, labor doesn’t seem all that bad.

That’s a lot of griping, I’m sorry. I am incredibly thankful that I have been able to carry my two children and experience pregnancy and I am so excited to meet this baby, I really really am. God has been reminding me that I am not being thankful for this and reminding me to treasure this time with C. Very soon he won’t be my only child anymore so this time is precious.

Labor Prep

I still haven’t done much labor prep. As of January first, my husband will be eligible for two weeks of paid paternity leave with the birth of each child. Because of this, I promised him I would not do anything to encourage labor before the first. BUT, come December 31 at about 8:00 p.m. I said all bets were off and I would be doing ALL THE THINGS to encourage labor. I’ll be 39 weeks on January first and I highly doubt I will have a labor shorter than four hours, so bring on the labor cookies, double strength raspberry leaf tea, ball exercises, and spicy food. In fact, as I write this, I am sitting on my exercise ball and have been drinking a glass of triple strength raspberry leaf tea. 😉

Baby Prep

This week I spent some time sewing and knitting a few items in case Baby is a girl. We have plenty of gender-neutral items and obviously plenty of boy items, but I had very few girl items. So I sewed a few skirts, knit some purple booties, and will be making some headbands and following some patterns during week 39. And if Baby is a girl I have several items lined up in my ThredUp favorites to purchase for her so she can have some girly clothing in her life 😉

If you haven’t heard of ThredUp, it is an online consignment store. Click this link and we’ll both get $10 to spend!

I sterilized my hand pump and a few pacifiers and washed the last few baby items that needed to be washed before Baby’s arrival. All Baby is “lacking” is a mirror for the car so I can see into the car seat and some burp cloths. I should probably get some of those, we only have three.

All About that Bump

Between the holidays, a stomach bug, and having very few pieces of clothing that actually fit, I only have one photo for week 38. I definitely have a “feeling the pregnant” face in this picture.

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Any bets on a New Year’s Day baby?

Thank you for reading and hanging in there with me in these final weeks of pregnancy. I know that whether Baby comes “on time” or after his/her date, very soon there will be a newborn in my arms and we will be a family of four instead of a family of three.

For you mamas who’ve been pregnant, how was your 38th week of pregnancy? When did the third trimester misery hit you or did you avoid it? If so, teach me your ways 😉