Fighting Labor Fears & Anxieties

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The closer I get to my due date, the more overwhelmed I feel. There is a plethora of feelings that overcome me, from joy to fear, excitement to anxiety. I know this is normal, but I don’t want to wait in fear or stress. I want to wait in peace. I’ve been seeking encouragement in prayer and scripture. Last night before bed, I made note-cards of 14 verses to pray through the fear of labor and delivery. I told Mark that I wanted them to be my “focal point”, so he will read them to me when I have contractions. SiIMG_20150209_145407multaneously, I will work on my J-Breathing (my favorite breathing technique that isn’t hard for me to remember). I know no one says it’s going to be easy, in fact everyone says it’s painful, but I will choose to focus on things above. My motto will be the same as the one I had through pledging my sorority: Mind over matter. I know my God is with me, and the birth of baby Carter is in His hands. I read this quote the other day, “Faith and fear cannot dwell in the same place. So let Him in to push fear out!”

Also, found this awesome prayer for labor and delivery. Thought I’d share it and maybe someone else can find encouragement in it, as well.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have chosen this day as the day my baby will be born. Thank you for bringing me to this point in time and for your perfect plan for the hours ahead.

Lord, I praise you for loving me and my baby. Each moment ahead of us is being cradled in Your good hands. May I not forget that.

Father, help me to not be anxious. Remove from me a heart of fear and replace it with Your peace that passes all understanding! Hold my hand and lead me.

Please allow me to have endurance that comes from you, and keep me safe. Father, watch over my baby and allow him/her to be born under the best of circumstances!

May Your will be done, Lord. Give me a sense of calm and purpose as I go through labor and delivery.

I know, Lord, that physical pain can overwhelm me, but Lord, help me to cling to You and look forward to the joy ahead when I see my little baby for the first time.

Give skill and wisdom to the doctors, nurses, and staff that will be taking care of me today, Lord. Allow them to be kind and helpful and enable me and my family members to bless them too.

Jesus, thank you for this new life that you have knit together in my womb so perfectly. Whatever happens, Lord, I know that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. May I feel your presence today, Father, in new and excellent ways. I know that You never leave me or forsake me.

Father, I give this baby to You. May my son/daughter grow up to follow You all the days of his/her life and guide me with wisdom as his/her mother from this first moment on.

In Jesus Name I Pray,
AMEN!

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One. More. Week.

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I can’t believe it. 9 months have passed. Unreal. This last month is dragging!

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Husband & I after our appointment, this week. 2nd to last one! Stopped for smoothies on the way home. 🙂

We have been on weekly OB appointments now, and today we went more in depth over our birth plan. I like our doctor very much, in that she explains things well and always answers our questions. What I really love is that she is someone who also loves to travel and dine out on occasion with her kid. She has provided great advice on both those topics. Additionally, she really respects labor and delivery as a very special time for the parents. I couldn’t agree more. She always stresses that it is great bonding for mom, dad, and baby, and we should see visitors only when ready. I definitely don’t want anyone other than my husband and the medical staff in that delivery room. And our hospital gives parents that first hour after delivery, for the parents to just be with the baby, and hopefully allow mommy to nurse. I think that’s awesome! After our appointment, I am confident she knows our birth plan well and we are on the same page.

Embarrassing Unknown Fact: When I’m in pain, I make crazy sounds and say some of the weirdest things. Ex. “Whoa Nelly”, “Ouchie wawa”, “Ho ho ho”, “Mommy” (and variations of this), “Mother of pearl”, “Pikachu”, “Oooh-ma-ha” (Yes, that would be Omaha). Those are just some of the common ones. Needless to say, I’m thinking the delivery room is going to be mortifying for me and comedic for the medical staff. “You know they’re going to think you’re insane,” says Mark. Yep, I know.

Question: When do you think would be the WORST TIME for your water to break?
This is something I’ve been asking myself almost daily. I think driving in the car would be the worst. Or while out shopping like at the mall or grocery store would suck. Then I think, where would it be ideal for my water to break? Obviously at home with my husband, but definitely not on our new laminate flooring or microsuede couches. The shower might not be good either, because it could be confusing. I might just think it’s the shower water. This is the mind of a worrier and someone with OCD. I don’t want to be God, but man…sometimes I wish I knew the plan. Ahh, the complexities and challenges of faith.

Current craving: Sonic’s ice. I’m totally serious. I had Mark go out and purchase a Route 44 cup of it. I had some of it already, and I’m saving the rest for when the real contractions come.

So close, yet so far away!

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2 weeks away, all! At the doctor’s appointment today, we got some exciting updates on dilation and effacement. Exciting but nerve-wracking! We are getting close! It doesn’t exactly feel like it’s been 8 months. And now that we’re nearing the end, time feels like it’s dragging!

38 weeks bumpie!

38 weeks bumpie!

Current cravings: apple slices with peanut butter and McD’s apple pie

Dear Edamame Carter,
What’s that vibrating feeling I’ve been experiencing in my belly? Makes me wonder what you’re doing in there! The doctor could feel your head, today! I don’t think you liked it, because Mommy’s been super uncomfortable since. Daddy and I are so excited to meet you. Pretty much everything is ready. We just need to pack our bags and figure out which cute outfits you’ll be wearing. 🙂
Love,
Edamommy

Pre-preggo life

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I’m convinced it’s baby season. I made a mental list from FB friends, and counted 17 people expecting boys, 11 expecting girls, 2 not finding out the sex, and 11 don’t know the sex yet. What?!?! More power to the mamas that aren’t finding out the sex. I don’t think I could do it, and I KNOW my husband couldn’t. He wanted to announce everything right away! Praying everyone I know has smooth and safe pregnancies and deliveries!

There are many things pregnancy makes me miss about NOT being pregnant. In no particular order:
1. A mani/pedi. I’ve gotten my nails done since high school, and this toxic free polish and nail stickers stuff is not cutting it. It’s just not the same look, and chips or peels so easily.
2. A sangria, moscato, or bloody mary. I’m not much of a drinker, but I think the fact that I can’t have any alcohol is making me want one of those.
3. Uninterrupted sleep. I miss not waking up at 5am like clockwork. I know this will continue into after pregnancy, with a newborn. But I mostly miss not waking up with my hands and calves hurting, swollen, and feeling like all the blood has rushed to them.
4. Breathing. I can’t breathe the same, especially when he’s all up in my business and on my ribs.
5. Eating whatever I want! So many things I’ve chosen to cut out (some are said to be ok, but I choose to be cautious and I’m also slightly paranoid): caffeine, raw sushi, MSG, med-rare steak, soft cheeses, smoked salmon. On top of restrictions, heartburn is no joke! It has kept me up almost every night. Miserable.
6. Going dancing. Yes, on occasion, I miss it. Club Bed and DJ Pillow can get boring.
7. My energy level. Everything is such a process now! I have very low energy and everything takes longer to do.
8. No stretch marks. I recently noticed a few on my hips. Cocoa butter, save me! I know it’s not proven to work, but I’m lathering up!
9. Bleaching my hair!!! Need I say more? My head is all dark, gloomy, and depressing. I’ve been blonde for 10 years. This change is not welcome.
10. Traveling. The hubby and I talk about this all the time, almost daily. We usually take a winter trip and the travel bug is so real, right now.
I’m sure I’ll think of more…
It’s really no secret that I don’t like being pregnant. Don’t ask me WHY, everyone’s different and that is my right to feel that way. I don’t think it’ll make me a bad mom; I love kids. But this 9 month process it’s taken to meet my baby…not a fan. Nope.

Mr. Giraffe has been a helpful “faux baby”. We use him to test all kinds of stuff, and he’s always willing. Mr. Giraffe’s latest assistance: diaper and swing.
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Current cravings: cupcakes, macarons

Baby Room is done!

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IMG_20150113_101607A little late, but Carter’s room has been finished for a few days, now! It is a very small space, but we tried to maximize it without overdoing it. It kind of got swallowed up as soon as the furniture was in, though. I have to thank Mark’s mom and aunt for the crib and glider/ottoman. In my nesting stage, anIMG_20150111_182842d because Mark was busy with work while I was home, I built the dresser, changing table and most of the crib by myself. Just call me Bob the Builder! Mark and I tackled the accent wall together. He helped measure the lines and was an expert taper. (Apparently, I can’t tape straight lines to save my life.) I painted the stripes once the lines were in place. Teamwork makes the dream work! The nursery was submitted to Project Nursery, so you can see and read more here. We lovingly called it, “Little Gentleman and Giraffe”.

Childbirth class…eek!

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This morning, we had a 4-HOUR class on childbirth. The information was helpful, but it probably could have been condensed a bit. Mark and I were bummed there was no legitimate food, lol. Room full of pregnant women…come on, throw us a bone! Haha. There was an odd couple in front of us, and the female kept coughing, sneezing, and sniffing in her snot. It was gross and I kind of wished she stayed home. She was wiping it on her arm. We learned a lot about the stages of labor, birthing positions for relief, the different medical interventions, and c-sections. Interestingly enough, we learned only 10% of women have their water break before going into labor. I wonder if I’ll be in that 10%? One of the things that was recommended was a “focal point” (something for you to focus on during contractions), that would take your mind off the pain. There were all these different laminated images, and I randomly picked a garden. I love flowers, and it reminded me of playing outside while my grandma used to tend to her rose bushes. She loves gardening. We had to carry around our focal point to different stations set up in the back of the room. The stations consisted of exercises with directions, that could help make laboring somewhat more comfortable. I found the hand roller massage thing with lotion, and the birthing ball to be good distractions. Because of my height, I didnt like any exercises where im sitting down. It makes me much more comfortable to lean against or over a table, bed, wall, etc. If I were to predict my biggest issue, I would say it’s breathing. I know, that’s pretty important. When I’m in pain, I tend to tense up and hold my breath. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on breathing techniques and hope I can apply them when it’s go time.

A funny moment was near the end, when the nurse asked if any couples would be interested in seeing a birthing video. Mark and I were one of two couples that said yes, while all the others left rather quickly (particularly the men). The video wasn’t graphic at all, but it was very educational as far as staying home as long as possible while you dilate and contractions get stronger. We were advised we have to go to L&D if I can’t talk through the contractions anymore, or if my water breaks.

Naturally, my husband had no trouble cracking jokes as usual, throughout the class. He told me that during labor, he would sing Salt-N-Peppa to me. “Ahh, push it. Push it real good!” He also said when my water breaks, he’s singing, “Let it flooowww!” in the likeness of Frozen’s “Let it Go”. Ladies and gentlemen…my husband. 😛

#CarterHasJoy

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This is kind of a “proof of today’s social media world” post. Hashtags are pretty big, these days. Personally, I see it as a useful tool for organizing posts/photos on Instagram. Now that baby’s name has been announced, I wanted to explain how his hashtag came about.

On 12/7/14, the husband and I were sitting in church listening to a sermon called “Forward in Joy”. Our pastor said, “Joy is not the absence of problems. It is the presence of God in the midst of problems”. This was such an encouraging message to me, and one we want to inspire our son with. The premise of knowing and believing that God’s disposition is one of joy, and the Holy Spirit produces joy in our lives (Galatians 5:22), is powerful. More importantly, we want Carter to know that no one will take away his joy (John 16:22b) because we can be confident the Lord will always be with him (Psalm 16:8-9). Happiness is fleeting, but joy is eternal when rooted in a relationship with Christ. It will always be my prayer that this will come to light in my son’s life. And thus, we have #CarterHasJoy. The “Has” part serves a dual purpose as part of our last name, AND makes the hashtag a complete sentence/thought. (P.S. We’ll also use #CarterTai.)

In the future, when someone search his unique hashtag (I’ve checked, no one else is using it right now), it’ll help them to see any and all photos/posts about him. See! Social media can be useful. 😉 Note about photos to those reading that actually know us, please don’t ever post horribly embarrassing or naked bath time photos of him. I think that’s a given, but I’m just saying. This is just like wedding hashtags (ours was #Hastings41313)!
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Current cravings: donut holes & Burger King’s Rodeo Cheeseburger

Dear Carter,
Mommy and Daddy have been learning a lesson everyday. The responsibility of parenting is a big one. I have started praying for you since we knew about you, and also praying for us as parents. We have a big task of teaching you about Jesus’ love and guiding you towards developing your own personal relationship with him. May you always remember, “The joy of the Lord is your strength!” I know you have already brought so much joy to your dad and I.
Love,
Edamommy