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The Pregnancy Diaries: Month 9

Posted by Ali | Wednesday July 6, 201113 comments
9 Months Pregnant
I'm on the Brink of Baby and I have to admit that the whole experience has been better than I thought it would be. I feel more myself than I thought I would, people are nicer to me than I could have expected, and it's been thrilling to experience baby growing inside me. I can't sugar coat month nine though. Month nine is a beast for several reasons, many of which, unfortunately involve the bathroom:

1. I have come to despise single- or *shudders* half-ply toilet paper. Whomever designed this did not do so with the pregnant bottom in mind. With the baby's head in the downwards position pressing heavily on the bladder, frequent trips are required. Like every 15 minutes. It is really unpleasant to use half-ply every 15 minutes.

2. Braxton Hicks contractions begin (if you haven't had them throughout the pregnancy as some women do).  They basically tease you into thinking you're in labour when you're not even close. This is hard when you're so excited to finally hold the little kicker who's been bruising you from the inside for nine months.

3. You become hyper-vigilant watching for signs you are going into labour. Ate a burrito that didn't agree?  Pressure from baby irritating your bowels? Unfortunately diarrhea is actually a symptom of early labour, but it is also a symptom of the former. Don't get excited by it.

4. Comments from strangers become more invasive. People I've never met come up to evaluate my appearance, tell me I've dropped or ask when baby is due. You develop a pat answer and smile to go with it, "Any day now… so ya." As for baby's name? You don't even know my name, so...

5. You're supposed to pay extra attention to your fluids and whatnot. Um, no.

6. It's impossible to sleep through the night. (See point 1.)

7. Getting out of a bathtub, car or deep couch is nearly impossible. One of the things I have enjoyed doing throughout the pregnancy to relax after work is have a nice warm bath, set up my laptop and catch up on my favourite show. In month nine, if I lie down for a good soak I can't get up, I'm splashing and floundering on my back like a seal until my husband comes to pull me out by the arms. I can't get out of the car without a shove from behind.

8. I just want to sleep.

9. Panic sets in about the readiness of the nursery, if all necessary items have been purchased, but more than anything, all of the horror stories from other parents about how we'll never sleep again. (See point 8.)

10. What kind of parents are we going to be? This concerns me the most by far. Prenatal classes focus almost exclusively on the labour and delivery, which I think is wrong since it will all be over in a matter of hours vs. the lifetime of responsibility we have just signed up for. Why doesn't anyone talk about that part? How about teaching us how to get a newborn to sleep for longer than two hours at a time, how to calm them down, or what symptoms to be concerned about and which not to worry about?

Moms who've crossed the finish line: How did you do it? Is it all going to be okay?
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on July 13, 2011  Becky  13,128 said:

"explosive poo shooting up his back" .....what!? really? does that happen with every baby? oh man... :(

on July 13, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

Good point, Bubblybunny! Once baby's a little bigger, he/she won't stay in a small swaddle easily. In my kids' case, they didn't need/want to be swaddled once they were a little bigger, so the issue was moot for me.

Still, a great tip for bigger babies who do still enjoy it!

on July 13, 2011  Angiemomof2  266 said:

You both are going to do GREAT!!! Can't wait to see the little one :)
it will be over soon and believe it or not, you will forget about month 9!! Sending lots of positive energy and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Alot of being a mom is trial and error (I always said there should be hazard pay for first born babies!!!)
Keep us posted!

on July 09, 2011  Bubblybunny  4,709 said:

@mamaluv We were taught that method at the prenatal class. It worked well when the baby was small and wasn't wiggling too much. Then, his arms got loose during sleepy-time and he woke himself up. My midwife showed us another way that was much easier, but it didn't stay as tight as your method and we only use the midwife method for calming during cranky-time. :P

If you are going to swaddle using receiving blankets, I recommend investing in a BIG blanket. I had one blanket that was big enough for my son and I used that over and over again for everything. It became a problem with he had explosive poo shooting up his back. :P Then I bought the miracle blanket and I managed better with 2 blankets, until he outgrew his swaddling blanket and I couldn't find one large enough to replace it.

For my daughter, I discovered the Muslin blankets (JJCole or Aden&Anais;). They are expensive but I LOVE them. They are big and light, great for swaddling in any weather, great as a stroller/infant car seat cover, or use to tug around the baby when you are using the carrier...so many different uses. I buy those for baby gifts now because they are so useful!!!

on July 08, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

Swaddling is actually really easy once you know the trick, and you can use any old receiving blanket to do it. When I see you in person next I'll demonstrate, but here it is in text version:

1. Lay out your receiving blanket like a diamond (assuming it's reasonably square, so tilt it on its point). You can fold down part of the top flap of the diamond to orient yourself (it should sort of look like a pentagon now, not a triangle). Put baby on the blanket with head on the folded down top flap.

2. Think of a compass (or if you forget North-East-South-West, remember the good ol' "Never Eat Soggy Wieners"). Take the "east" point, and fold it over baby snugly trapping his arm down by his side (babies hate having their arms flap around, trust!). Tuck the east point under his body on the far side.

3. Fold the "south" point up over his body so that the feet are snugly tucked in.

4. Fold the "west" point over baby snugly, covering the "south" flap and all the way over to his far side and under his back.

That's it! Pick up your baby and tote him around proudly. It literally takes 10 seconds or less once you have the hang of it.

The nurses in the hospital had a slightly different method when they taught me which I actually found more complicated. This was easiest for me and least likely to come undone.

on July 08, 2011  Bubblybunny  4,709 said:

Oh by the way, I did use the woombie for my second baby's first 2 weeks. Then she grew out of it. I liked how easily it is to use but my baby didn't like being swaddled very much. I swaddled her when she's really really fussy and it calmed her down but it took a while for her to realize she's swaddled and that she can be happy now. :P Babies are funny that way.

on July 08, 2011  Bubblybunny said:

You don't need to know how to swaddle!! You can just buy them ready to go. I loved my Miracle Blanket which is what I used for both my babies. Super easy to use. There is also the Woombie and I've heard a lot of good things about it. You basically put the baby in and zip her up!! Easy Peasy!! The only problem with the woombie is that they are sized so they don't grow with your baby very well and babies grow FAST!! For that reason, I highly recommend the Miracle blanket. I used that with my son until he was 4 months old and he was ready for a sleeping bag by then.

If you are looking for luxurious sleeping bag, try the Perlimpinin Organic sleeping bag. Expensive but It ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

Good luck, Ali!! We are all rooting for you and your little one's arrival. :D

on July 06, 2011  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

Thanks for the encouragement and tips, you guys! I have heard the swaddling is really important. Now I just need to learn how to get the blanket folded correctly. I have been practicing on stuffed animals and am not very good at it ;).

on July 06, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

Swaddling - yes!!! Takoda's absolutely right that a nice snug swaddle is one of the best tips I can give you. Most babies don't like to be flapping around in loose blankets. They also love contact with Mom & Dad, so if you don't already have a baby carrier or sling I suggest you consider one. Some people might say it's spoiling Baby (that's what our grandparents believed), but these days it's a very common choice. All about bonding!

on July 06, 2011  takoda  28,648 said:

Oh Ali you'll be fine, trust me we've all felt the same
things you're feeling now just before our first baby show it's beautiful
little face to us. It's hard to let you in on what to expect because
every baby is so different.
For the first few months, unless you get
really lucky you won't have much sleep. All babies have to eat ever few
hours for the first little while, so loss of sleep is a given. That's
why I always say, if someone offers to watch the baby so you can take a
nap, or even just go for a walk to get your mind back in order, take
it every time!! Don't ever compare your baby to your friends new born
babies. They're baby made sleep for two hours in between feedings, but
yours may sleep longer. Your baby may cry more then theirs does. Yes
there's going to be times when you've done every thing you can think of
to make them stop crying and nothing will seem to work, but that
doesn't mean your baby is sick either. It just may be having a bad day
like we all have. You'll be surprised at how fast you will come to know
your baby and how to react to his, or her needs. There's going to be a
lot of people telling you to do this, or that because it works for
them, or it's best for your baby, but you will know your baby the best
and what works best for your baby. I found that just giving them a smile
and saying thanks maybe I'll give that a try, helps to shut them up.
Always just follow your own in-stinks, but never be afraid to ask
questions, or ask for help. We'll all be here for you if you ever have
any questions, or concerns, you can be sure of that! As you may know
from reading some of the things I have written before, both of my boys
were very fussy and sick babies. I found that when I had them swaddled
up nice a tight and walked around the house with them they would quiet
down and go to sleep. I found out later that it worked because that
makes your baby feel like they are back in your belly were they felt
snug and safe. After reading that it made a lot of sense to me, after
all they were in there for nine months. So give that a try with your
baby for the first month or so even if they aren't fussy, it will help
them feel safe. Ali you are going to be a great mommy and Alex will be a
great daddy, I have no doubt about that. Just give us a shout if you
need any help with anything and I'm sure one of us can come up with the
right answer for you. We can't wait to see the baby pictures!!
Big Hugs to ya!!

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