Bump: 29-34

… no picture week 29. We had people over after church and it was dark when they left.


{31. This week I decided to stop trying to exercise for 45-1 hour 5x a week and cut back to half an hour 5x a week, and more if I feel like it. The pool often lasts for almost an hour but the elliptical is 30 minutes now. I had energy to do more than that on the day of, but the next day would be exhausted so decided to cut back}

{32. I’m still sleeping through the night as far as waking up to use the bathroom is concerned, but sleeping through the night means falling asleep, rolling over a lot, getting up between 5:30 and 6 when Ezra is getting ready for work, and then going back to bed until 9. I haven’t slept all that soundly since getting pregnant and still toss and turn a lot at night, but I’m glad to not get up in the middle of the night… most nights. I have to have a snack before bed or I wake up at 2 AM ravenously (sometimes painfully) hungry}

It was dark by the time we got back from an after-church barbecue (that was followed by frozen yogurt… yes, I know you’re not supposed to have soft serve while pregnant, but we know the owners of the shop and they assured us that their machines are cleaned out frequently). We took a photo inside but it didn’t turn out very well.
{33. My back is starting to bother me, but not my lower back – my right side at my lower ribs. It usually only happens if I’ve been sitting for a long time, so is a good reminder to get up and move or lie down and take the pressure off. Aprons are an almost necessity in the kitchen now if I don’t want my belly to get covered in food}

{34. I now have 2 shirts that were super long before and I only wore tucked into skirts with a belt that I can now wear as normal shirts! I’m really not a big fan of the maternity capris I have… they fit really well the first week I had them but are now saggy and always falling down. The bump is definitely growing (as is baby, made most obvious by pressure), but still seems long and not very far out to me. Thank you mommy for a longer torso!}

I still feel sick when I eat peanut butter, but have been able to tolerate coconut oil in small quantities now. I was craving chocolate but didn’t want the sugar so made coconut oil chocolate and that hasn’t made me sick.

My bump is changing more than it had been in previous posts (and it’s so nice to feel and look pregnant at last), but I feel like my energy levels and the way I’ve been feeling have been more consistent. Baby is still strong and active, hiccups a lot, and is definitely getting bigger.

I WAS going to post about our plans for the birth, but those are up in the air right now and we aren’t entirely sure where baby will be born. Prayers for that decision are much appreciated!

Books I Read
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. I was required to take a class to deliver at the birth center, and while we ultimately decided to take the classes the birth center offers, I had heard a lot about Bradley and wanted to look into it more. We bought the book and I read it very early on. Ezra and I read portions of it together and practiced to the point where we were comfortable doing its suggestions, but not necessarily as much as is recommended in the book. I think what was most important from it was how in detail it went about labor, since it explained it so clearly and in a way that helped me understand what my body’s going to be doing and how I can help it work, which took away a lot of fear.

Redeeming Childbirth. I didn’t find I benefited much from the specifics of this book, but the overall theme of birth being a time of worship as well as trusting God with any outcome were important for me. That said, I think the reason it wasn’t as great as I was expecting is because I’ve been raised in a culture of natural, unafraid childbirth, with my mother, sister, Ezra’s mother, and sister-in-law all having particular influence on that in recent years. I always knew it was hard work and painful, but didn’t know for a long while that medication and intervention were so frequently used because that’s not how my mom did it. While the spiritual aspect wasn’t always present in my mind, I didn’t have the same view of childbirth that our culture does today.
So while it was a helpful book for me, I’d recommend it more for someone who hadn’t grown up with a positiveness surrounding birth. However, as the birth gets closer I have found myself looking back over some parts, so I may have read it somewhat prematurely before.

Childbirth Without Fear. This was fascinating more than anything else. It was more textbook-y than I expected and while it does seem to be the case that some people give birth without pain and that fear definitely does affect birth (and thus pain, too), I don’t agree that most births could be painless. I appreciate Ina May’s take on it all in her book – acknowledging its possibility and how it happens but taking a less absolute approach to it.
The biggest thing I learned from this was that fear can halt labor, which I pray we can use to our benefit – I don’t want to be scared of being scared of things I’m scared of.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. This was highly recommended by the midwives at the birth center, and when I had my glucose test I read some of the copy they had there, which was an older edition than the one I checked out of the library. From what I read of the older edition, I’d recommend it but not the newer one (I think I read the 6th edition at the library, the 4th at the birth center). The old one seemed to have more technical detail, while the newer one didn’t talk as much about avoiding some of the problems, especially regarding proper latching. It was also very pro-attachment parenting, which is something we’re trying to find a middle ground on, so a lot of it wasn’t helpful to me as someone who doesn’t plan to always feed on demand.
That said, it did have some troubleshooting chapters that I may refer back to if I get it from the library again.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I tried to read this as soon as I knew I was pregnant, but it’s a popular book at the library – it had 5 holds on it. I was next in line when we left for Rhode Island, and had to cancel my hold. When I put it back on hold when we were getting ready to return, it had 7 holds. It came in early September, and we picked it up, but the next day I got a package in the mail from my sister-in-law with some baby stuff and a birthday gift… Ina May’s book! So we returned the library one as soon as we could so someone else can read it. 😉
The first half of the book is birth stories. They got a little tiring after a while, but were reassuring and helped imbed some techniques in my mind. It also helped establish the normalcy of birth even further for me.
She writes in a similar vein as Childbirth Without Fear, but I like her style a lot better and feel she covers the same ground in less time and throws in more things that are helpful for preparing. Because of the hype about it, I was expecting a lot more from it. It was still helpful, but at times very strange, and I don’t agree with everything she recommends or that they do at the Farm. I think because of other things I’d read there wasn’t as much that was new to me so it wasn’t as mind-blowing.
Do note that if you’re pregnant you may want to skip the chapter on maternal death. I wish I had as I already knew I wanted to avoid things like pitocin but not knowing if I’ll have to be induced it’s a little scary to know some of that information.

The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. I figured I should read at least one about life after baby, and this was recommended to me by my sister. I appreciated its emphasis on routine over schedule, since it seems like a good, workable middle ground between attachment parenting and stricter, cry-it-out methods, although long-term it doesn’t seem like either of these have ill effects. I bought a copy of this one to refer back to since I’ll probably end up doing that a lot!

I also watched The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Business of Being Born, both of which were good, but not as essential.

If you’re only going to read one? On this side of birth, I’d say “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way.”


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