What is a Postpartum Doula?

So, maybe you think you know what a doula is, right? She’s the lady who’s grabbing the fruit juice popsicles while your partner walks up and down the halls with you just after your water breaks and that woman holding you as you breathe through your next contraction…

…Or she’s the person who shows up at your doorstep two days postpartum to cook your dinner and fold your laundry while you and your husband take a nap with the baby. She might be the woman who takes your four year old to play outside while you give your newborn a bath. She could be the one who comes over with the bag filled with different kinds of cloth diapers and baby carriers to try and then helps correct your latch as your figure out how to nurse that new baby.

A postpartum doula helps with all those things that come after the birth of your baby, whether it’s helping around your house with cooking, shopping, and some light cleaning, or helping you become more familiar with the things you said you wanted to do (baby wearing, co-sleeping, clothe diapering, breastfeeding), but now that the time has come, you’re not entirely sure where to begin or how to troubleshoot.

I have recently decided to begin the certification process (through Birth Arts International as DONA does not offer a postpartum doula training in New England) and have started offering some postpartum doula services.

What does this mean for you, my lovely potential client?

I will:

  • Allow you time with your newborn by helping you with cleaning, cooking, shopping, your older children, or other chores/activities
  • Give you time to rest and relax by providing some care for your newborn
  • Can give you information and instruction on cloth diaper use and care
  • Can give you information and instruction on use of a variety of baby carriers (slings, soft structure carriers, wraps, etc.
  • Can give you some guidance in breastfeeding

Above all, I will help you to create and hold a safe, peaceful, and happy environment within which you and your family can adjust to your new roles.

Things I cannot/will not do:

  • I will not transport you or your older children barring an extreme emergency
  • I cannot perform any medical tasks (beyond CPR/First Aid, for which I’m certified) like baby well checks or checking c-section scars
  • And while I have a lot of positive and successful breastfeeding experience and knowledge that I believe is an asset, if you are having a lot of difficulties with latch, engorgement, infection, etc., I will suggest you get in touch with a lactation consultant (and I can happily help you do that!)

And a last word on safety – Obviously you want to be sure that whomever you bring into your home to spend time with your family is a safe person. I currently work for a public school district, which means I have to be fingerprinted and background checked stringently. I sort of feel the same should go for a doula, particularly a postpartum doula as she is potentially with your family a lot. I absolutely have no issue showing you my CHRC (Criminal History Record Check) certificate that I have been issued by the state of Maine (just like any other public school employee).

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Dreaming

It’s been one of those restless days, where I want everything at once. Dreaming about staying home with my babies (something that’s finally coming true…). Dreaming about our would-be farm with veggies and chickens and goats and cows, freshness radiating from our table, honest and hard work driving our day. Dreaming about the school I want to start. Dreaming about the degree I really ought to get if I want to start that school. Dreaming about that (those) university(ies) where I’d like to get that degree (UMF, Antioch, Harvard…). Dreaming about ditching our house. Dreaming about revamping it completely. Dreaming about dreaming about dreaming. 

The hubs took both kids out with his friend to the store, so I wandered about our yard a bit aimlessly, trying to sort out my toughts. It’s less than two acres, but it’s depth is tremendous. The previous owner was a prolific gardner, but unfortunately was unable to keep up the yard a few years before we bought the house, so it’s a daunting piece of land in terms of care. The yard is almost like an outdoor house, an old one, with many heavily detailed rooms. 

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No, I may be dreaming a great many things, some that may come true, others that may not, but at least I lay my head here, in my sweet little house in the woods, in my sweet, sweet life. 

Did You Use all that Stuff??

I’ve had two babies now, and while I’m by no means an expert, I think I’ve finally figured something out, something I’ve seen on dozens of mom blogs and had my own mom tell me hundreds of times (while I’ve rocked back and forth in a corner in a panic as I wept over having nothing for the impending baby). Babies don’t really need a lot. Really. I think I might have even said this at some point, but I’m not entirely sure I believed it. You might recall my little list of stuff that I really wanted waaaaaaay back last August (wow…almost a year ago!). Now, the list wasn’t very long (unlike my registry, which was big, then small, then huge again when I was told I was having a surprise baby shower a week after M. was born and had to register for some stuff), but one has to wonder if I actually use those very particular items that I really, really wanted.

breastpump

So, first of all, the breast pump. I, very inexpensively, bought the Medela Pump In Style Advanced from my cousin several months ago and I use it three times a day, five days a week at work (and let me just say, work has been awesome about my pumping). I really like this pump. I don’t don’t get a ton when I pump – I’m lucky if I get just enough for M. for the next day while I’m at work – but I feel as though a lesser pump would probably have totally messed up my supply and we’d be formula feeding right now. It’s comfortable, efficient, and I like that it comes in a pretty discreet looking black shoulder bag. If you’re in the market for a pump, or your insurance company provides you with a choice in what you can pick, totally go for Medela.

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Second we had the Moby wrap. Holy freaking God-send. I love this thing. I had originally received a homemade one from my cousin (the one who sold me the breast pump) and unfortunately, I’m a bit wider than her (she’s like, a fitness rock star), and it didn’t fit me all that well. Bummer. BUT my really lovely co-workers through me a baby shower, and as one of my gifts, a friend gave me her very gently used Moby, which fits perfectly.

But back to the wrap.

I’ve read about a lot of people finding it difficult to use, lots of fabric, tough wrap around, too hot for baby, yada yada yada. I have not had any of these issues. After looking at the booklet of directions that came with it and a couple of YouTube videos, I was golden. There is a lot of fabric and I don’t consider the wrap “poppable” (i.e. you can easily put baby in and out without rewrapping), BUT the advantages (super calm, happy, sleepy baby) outweigh the disadvantages. Also, in the super hot weather we’ve had in the last couple of days, I haven’t noticed any baby discomfort and I’m not uncomfortable, either, though honestly, everywhere we go when it’s really hot is either air conditioned or in the water, so there isn’t a huge chance for baby and me to get too hot.

Third, we had the car seat, and we went with the one our friends had. It’s cute and safe – all I could ask for.

cosleeper

Fourth, the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper. We did buy this and we do use it…most of the time. M. does go to bed in his own space much better than E. ever did (she was sleeping in my hospital bed after she was born, for Pete’s sake). That said, there are plenty of nights were I end up pulling M. into bed with me, letting me snuggle in the crook of my arm.

Was it worth the money spent (about $160)? Well, between the storage in the bottom (we have limited storage space) and the amount of time M. actually uses it, I’d say, so far, yes, but it also depends how long M. is able to use the co-sleeper. If I only get six months out of it, I don’t know if it will have been worth it for our family.

clothdiapers

Finally, the cloth diapers. While I had thought we would have to spend a whole bunch of money on them, it ended up not being a whole lot. I bought about 10 cloth pocket diapers (a waterproof cloth shell with a microfiber insert) from my cousin (yep, same cousin as before) for about $30 and then my mom gave me a dozen for Christmas. I was also given a dozen gDiapers from a friend at work (the same friend who gave me her Moby).

Do we use the cloth diapers? Heck yes we do! Do we use them all the time? Nope, but only because we were given a crap ton of disposables (which we STILL haven’t gotten all the way through). As soon as the disposables are gone/no longer fit, I’m cloth diapering exclusively.

I love, love, love the brand of cloth diaper we use (Kawaii). They’re inexpensive (less than $6 a diaper), hold up well, don’t leak, and are pretty cute (always important, right?). I also enjoyed the gDiapers when M. was smaller, but I felt they were a bit leakier and I didn’t like how I would have had to buy larger sizes as M. got bigger if I had decided to use those (I just had size small, which only goes up to 14 lbs., so they’re too small for M. now).

So, I think that about covers it all. There are a few other things I had wanted and ended up getting and loving (my Boppy, for one), but this post is already way too long. So far, I’m really happy that I don’t have any useless baby items, and I’m hoping when we go round three (yep, I’m already thinking about another kiddo) we won’t have much of anything to buy!

Things That Make Me Feel Good

I know, I know, I haven’t posted in forever. Apparently life is crazy busy when you have a five year old, a newborn, and work full time. Who would’ve guessed? (Not me apparently, since I started yet another blogging venture during maternity that I haven’t touched since I returned to work five weeks ago.) But I wanted to post today because I actually have time. Baby boy is happily chewing a finger, E. is absorbed in her morning dose of the Arthur cartoon (a personal fave of mine), and no is going to need me for at least a few minutes. I also wanted to post something so there was at least some evidence of my existence between my last post and the beginning of summer vacation (a mere three weeks away).

So, I bring you this – things that make me feel good

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New nail polish in a sweet blue!

 

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Apology for the blurry pic – I’m not a skilled one-handed tablet picture taker. A cool new watch so I can start running again (I know, not having one is a pretty lame excuse). I had to replace my old AWESOME watch that a work friend gave me when I started running last year…I accidentally sent it through the wash 😦

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A summer dress.

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Food that isn’t bad for me. I have a serious carb and Reese’s addiction that I’m trying to kick (again). Thankfully I love yogurt (with a sprinkle of cereal on top) and a bowl of fruit. It also helps that it all looks so pretty.

After being cooped up all winter and then being cooped up at work, a little pick-me-up here and there is nice. Nothing quite like a pretty dress and ambition to get a girl going.

A Birth Story

I’ve been absent for a bit, as some who occasionally browse this blog may have noticed. Considering the prodigious number of posts I’ve done on the impending arrival of my new little man, you might be able to guess the reason for my absence.

Finally, finally, finally, after 42 weeks even of pregnancy, our man arrived February 22nd at 12:56 pm. He was 9 lbs 13 oz and 22 3/4 inches long. A big boy for sure! However, he was  (and is) completely and utterly perfect.

The big question now might be if I got my VBAC or not. Wow, well, where to begin with that story. The short answer might be disappointing – no, I did not get my VBAC. However, I’m not sad about it, as I might have thought I would be a few months ago (or even a few weeks ago).

This is how it all went down.

As I entered my February break from work still pregnant and went to my last prenatal appointment that Tuesday, I was pretty much at my breaking point emotionally. I felt like I was never going to go into labor naturally. I just wanted my baby in my arms. My OB gave me the option of scheduling a c-section for Friday and if I went into labor before then, then I could proceed with attempting my VBAC as planned. If I didn’t schedule a c-section for Friday then I’d have to schedule one for the following Monday.

After a lot of thought, I went ahead and scheduled a section for Friday. I was having tremendous amounts of anxiety and just felt that if I didn’t go into labor on my own by Friday it likely wasn’t going to happen before Monday.

Well, lo-and-behold, I went into labor on my own (a big achievement, in my mind, since I felt I might not be capable of going into labor by myself) Thursday night. I went in to the hospital at my scheduled time for my c-section, but explained that I had started labor and was hoping that we could see how things were going to progress and possible even let me go home. My OB was on board so long as I had another biophysical profile done to check on the status of the baby.

Well, while the baby seemed to be doing pretty well, he was still measuring very large and his amniotic fluid was super low. My OB was very firm in that she wanted me to have a c-section, almost to the point where I felt a bit betrayed by her 180 degree turn on the VBAC front. That said, I was starting to feel like a c-section might be the best course of action…under certain stipulations.

I wanted, if there was nothing immediately wrong with the baby, to have him given to me right away. No whisking the baby off to be vigorously dried off, poked and prodded, and wrapped up tight so there was a thick swaddling blanket between the two of us as my husband dangled him overhead. I wanted the baby passed to me, I wanted to take him in my arms, just as I would if he had been born naturally, and have him lain across my chest, skin to skin. My OB agreed.

Everything happened very quickly after that. I signed consent forms, had an IV put in, talked to anesthesiology, got prepped for surgery, met a variety of nurses and doctors, and in what felt like a matter of seconds (though it was really probably just a bit over an hour) was taken into the OR.

I felt okay until I came into the OR. It didn’t feel regret or anything, but the sudden gravity of what was about to happen hit me in full force. A mix of “Holy crap I’m about to have a baby” and “Holy crap they’re about to slice me wide open.” I shook. I shook hard. I asked repeatedly, as they gave me a spinal, laid me down on the operating table, felt my legs and abdomen go numb, where my husband was, when I’d get to see him, when he’d be with me. I needed his strength and comfort. I tried really hard not to cry.

But eventually the hubs arrived, took my hands, and tried to not show his own nerves. I felt so relieved with him beside me, especially at first, but as we started to wait for the baby’s arrival, my anxiousness started rise once again.

For one, I still had a cold. I had been getting these nasty colds on and off throughout my pregnancy (you may recall my brutal sinus infection at the very beginning), and this one wasn’t too bad, but it led to a really stuffy nose and a cough. Have you ever needed to cough while having a spinal? Really, really uncomfortable and weird. Between that and the stuffy nose I felt like I was having an asthma attack, but because my oxygen was fine, there really wasn’t anything they could do.

Eventually, however, it didn’t matter, because my doctor began to deliver our little boy. I didn’t get to see him right away, because, of course, that blue curtain was in the way, but a few moments later, the curtain was quickly lowered and my little one was thrust into my arms, bloody, squirming, and shrieking his head off. Perfect.

He lay atop my chest and started to relax, nestling into my arms, falling asleep. I cried as I kissed his surprisingly hairy little head and told him repeatedly, almost idiotically, how beautiful he was. I’ve never experienced natural birth, and now that I’ve had a second cesarean, I likely never will, but I know there is supposed to be high after you give birth. Maybe what I felt wasn’t the same, like I said, I’ll never know, but I was about as high as Mt. Freaking Everest in that moment, and trust me, it wasn’t the pain killers.

I got to hold my little man while the stitched me back up and got cleaned up. After a bit a nurse took him for just a moment to weight and measure him, then he was promptly returned to my arms and we were wheeled into recovery. Once in recovery I started to nurse him (a struggle at first, but now, nearly eight weeks later, we’re going strong) and bonding really began.

As I finish writing this (it’s taken me a few weeks, coming back and forth), I’m getting ready to start my last week of maternity leave. It’s been an amazing journey so far. I remember changing and learning a lot when E. was born (who, by the way, is an all star big sister), and the same is happening this time. I have learned so much about myself as a person and a mother. I am slowly coming to realize what is important, what my strengths are, and, most certainly, my weaknesses. Above all, I’ve come to see even more strongly, just how precious my little family is and how very lucky we are. I wouldn’t change it for anything and I’d happily do it all over again.

Week 39

Week 39 (February 1 – February 8) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks and the very rare (maybe two?) more painful contractions (but nothing too exciting). 

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvis, and my baby belly has dropped 

Cravings: Peanut butter and chocolate, for a change; Raisin Bran!!

High Point:  Continuing to have a happy, healthy baby growing inside of me! 🙂

Low Point: I’m just tired, sore, and ready for this pregnancy to be over. What’s more, I was checked again and there wasn’t any change. Again, I know it’s incredibly foolish to care this much about the status of my cervix, but it’s hard to not take it to heart.  

What I did to prepare this week: Continuing to struggle to keep things organized and clean. 

Paranoid Moment: Every little thing feels like it could be labor, or prelabor or SOMETHING, but ends up not. Very frustrating and disappointing and it puts me on edge.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: 

“Your baby’s waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it’s likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.”

37 Weeks – Full Term!!

Week 37 (January 18 – 25) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks. AND my first real contraction!

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvis, and my baby belly has dropped 

Cravings: Peanut butter and chocolate, for a change

High Point:  I had a really lovely surprise baby shower at work this past week. It was put on by some great co-workers who brought in cake and other tasty refreshments. I received some really sweet gifts for the baby and was especially pleased to get lots of clothes in the 6-12 month range, because I’m really lacking in that department! I felt so welcome and loved, especially since this is my first year working at this school.

Low Point: I had another appointment with my OB this week, and while everything was great, she “checked” me again and nothing had changed, even after having a real contraction. I know that the state of my cervix really has nothing to do with the ability to predict when I’ll go into labor, but I was hoping for some sort of change, especially since so little happened when I was in labor with E. I’ll admit, I was bumming pretty hard.

What I did to prepare this week: More cleaning and organizing. It’s a challenge to keep on top of everything lately because I’m super tired and I have a husband and kid. It’s not to say they aren’t wonderful and big helps in their own way, because they most certainly are, but they’re not the cleanest bunch 🙂

Paranoid Moment: I’m very much at the same point I was with E. when I was pregnant with her, where everything could be a possible indicator of something wrong. I’m not harping as badly as I was when I was pregnant with E. (mostly because I’m working this time around and have things to occupy my mind), but I still worry more than I characteristically would. 

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say:

“Your baby is now considered “full term,” even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you’re planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there’s a medical reason to intervene earlier.)

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.”

Experimentation

Back in December I talked about a few of my New Year’s goals. One of them was to start changing our diet at home to something more wholesome and grounded in real and whole foods. Well, as if the bloggy internet gods had heard my prayers, this series cropped up on Keeper of the Home, one of the homemaking blogs that I follow. One of the first posts was about what you can start changing and eliminating in your diet to go down the real foods road. Keeping that in mind, when I went to make breakfast this morning, I came up with this recipe. 

First of all, it’s loosely based on my standby pancake recipe from Martha Stewart. Secondly, this is a sort of cobbled together, vaguely “real” food recipe. After I list what I used I will sum it all up with how I will change it next time around to make it a real “real” food recipe. 

Here goes: 

2 cups whole wheat flour

5 tbs. raw honey

2 tps. baking soda 

2 cups of water

6 tbs. canola oil

2 large eggs

2 apples, chopped

To cook, I threw all the ingredients together in a bowl, mixed everything together until well blended, then over medium heat in a well-greased skillet, poured a 1/4 cup of batter in for each pancake. It made about 12 pancakes. 

How did they taste? Really good, especially with some syrup and butter. However, the texture is a bit different because of the wheat flour, and that also alters the taste a bit. It definitely had a more wheat-y flavor. 

What would I change the second time around? Well, for one, I would replace the canola oil with either coconut oil or butter (preferably raw and/or organic). Also, instead of water, I would consider using either low fat, organic milk or full fat, raw milk (“raw”, by the way, means unpasteurized). Reasoning behind this? One, there are lots of nutrients in whole, raw milk. Like, a lot. And most of those nutrients are lost during the pasteurization process. Two, I think butter and milk are a lot more yummy than oil and water. That said, the water, I’m sure, cuts a whole lot of calories from the pancakes.

So, this is my first venture into the real food world, modified as it is. One of my short term goals that I just set for myself recently was to try to cook at least one real food meal a week, so I suppose this is kind of my first for the week (which works, considering I don’t really have the ingredients I want at home right now and won’t be grocery shopping until the end of the week).

Next on my list of things to do in this area? I’m going to do some pricing tomorrow at a couple of local shops (a farm stand and a co-op) as well as our local grocery store.  

The Official List (Hospital Bag Edition)

Last month I wrote a bit about my experience staying at the hospital after E. was born and some of the stuff I really, really wished I had with me. After much thought and some actual packing (and having to dig out my HUGE suitcase that has

been living at my parents for the last six or so years), I’ve got the list. 

Now, keep in mind, I am the ultimate over packer. I really dislike being without, and, if for whatever reason, I’m stuck at the hospital for more than a couple of days, I’m going to be very grumpy if I don’t have everything I think I’ll need. That said, should I not use even half of what I pack, that’s totally okay with me. 

So, here’s the list: 

Wallet

Cell/Charger

Blackberry/Charger

Nook/Charger

Deodorant (buy travel size)

Toothbrush (buy spare)

Toothpaste  (buy travel size)

Brush

Makeup

Lip balm

Hair elastics

Hair clip

Shampoo/conditioner (buy travel size)

Ratty t-shirt for labor

Bathing suit top for labor in tub/shower

Bathrobe

Jammies

  • Night gown
  • Pants and top
  • More pants and top

Pair of socks

Nursing bra

Roomy underwear

Snacks

Pillow with pillowcase

Notepad (buy)

Pen/Pencil

Going home outfit

  • Black sweats or yoga pants
  • Comfortable top

Shampoo/body wash for Mike

Jammies for Mike

Swim trunks for Mike

Changes of clothes for Mike

  • Two pairs of pants
  • Three shirts
  • Three pairs of underwear
  • Socks

Sleep sacks for baby x3

Going home outfit for baby

Receiving blanket

Boppy pillow

Nursing cover

Cloth diapers

Nipple cream

Doula gift(s) (gift card/certificates to Beth’s Kitchen and something else…)

(I apologize for the weirdo formatting – this is what happens when you copy and past from Word, apparently.) So that’s all of it. The clothes take up the most space, but I wanted to have something clean to change into each day, especially if I end up having another c-section. I also wanted the hubs to have access to come clean and comfy clothes, too, since he’ll be hanging around the hospital with me and sleeping there as well. 

And, despite the apparent simplicity of it, I did put a lot of thought into that going home outfit for me. I wanted something basic, but also not totally schleppy looking. I’m obviously not going to try to look like a movie star, but I want to feel put together as well as comfortable. 

I found when putting this list together that there were a lot of little things and a lot of stuff I didn’t just have on hand, particularly the travel size stuff. As I’ve packed my bag I’ve added things slowly over the last couple of weeks. I just bought, for example, the travel size shampoo/conditioner and deodorant during our last trip to Target. I had to set aside just the right kind of undies each time I did laundry. And I haven’t even come close to packing the electronics, and those likely won’t go into the hospital bag until we’re ready to go. It’s definitely not a trip you can pack for all at one time! 

And, a note on snacks. I’ll be honest, I haven’t even asked my OB or the hospital when we did our tour last week about their policy regarding eating during labor. I plan on feigning (sort of) ignorance. Because, I will eat. And what did I choose for snacks? So far, I grabbed three different of granola bars and a box of pineapple popsicles when I went grocery shopping last week. I may add to my small collection when I grocery shopping next Friday, but I’m actually pretty happy with what I have for now. The granola bars, I think, will be good early on in labor, when I will want something more substantial and the popsicles will be nice when labor is more intense and I might want something more filling than water, but still light. 

What’s going (or has gone) in your hospital bag? 

Week 36

Week 36 (January 11 – 18) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks. Also, breast tenderness has resurfaced.

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvis, and my baby belly has dropped 

Cravings: Peanut butter and chocolate, for a change

High Point:  We got the co-sleeper this weekend! I was so, so, so excited! We have it all set up next to the bed and E. has had great fun putting her baby doll to bed inside of it. I can’t wait until it’s filled with our real baby and not dolls, books, and electronics. 

Low Point: Some of my pregnancy paranoia has sufficiently subsided this week, so I’ve been feeling emotionally all right. Physically, however, I’m starting to really feel worn down. The baby is so low in my pelvis I can feel a lot of pressure from his big ol’ noggin. I felt really lousy on Tuesday (lots of headaches and heavy headedness along with crampy, though fairly mild contractions). I ended up going in to see my OB and having a non-stress test and exam. While everything looked good baby-wise, my OB said I was definitely having consistent contractions, but they weren’t strong enough to make anything happen (which is fine, because it’s not quite time yet for the babe to make his appearance). And when I had my exam I was not quite a centimeter dilated and my cervix was becoming soft and stretchy. All good stuff (and sorry if this is a bit TMI). My OB said she was leaning towards thinking I’d likely go on my own and quite possibly have the come out the “old fashioned way”. So, so good to hear. 

What I did to prepare this week: Got that co-sleeper! I pestered and pestered and pestered the hubs to go to the big city with me to hit up Babies ‘R’ Us, and he finally agreed to go, even though he was feeling completely miserable. This is the one we got. We also picked up a the starter set of these bottles at Target. I’d like to get one more package (I have a set of 5 oz. bottles and I’d like another set of the 9 oz.), but that can go on the back burner until after the babe shows up.

Paranoid Moment: Feeling much better this week. 

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say:

“Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she’s in a head-down position. But if she isn’t, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a fancy way of saying she’ll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.”