Well, I have made it to 31 weeks. I am now officially off work and on FMLA. Lots of resting and staying off my feet, which I really thought would help these nasty and infrequent contractions. But apparently my body is just doing it's thing to prepare at the mercy of my back and every pain threshold it can push. It seems like every day I sleep a little less, every day I feel a little less like myself than the day before, every day I question how much longer I can really do this. There is nothing like wanting to be happy and excited and positive about my final pregnancy and my little boys' impending birth - yet feeling so utterly miserable and exhausted and irritable. I really don't think pregnancy should feel like this.
I am now being monitored weekly for contractions. On Monday, while a few showed up on the monitor, they were spaced out and small, so they just looked for the normal accelerations in their heart rates and then checked my fluid and looked for "practice breathing" via ultrasound, all of which appears to be good. Even though I have been reading a lot, there has been a lot of television-watching on my end and I find myself wanting to change the channel when it has to do with birth defects or strange disorders of children. I do worry that something was "missed" during these many months of ultrasounds, but I am trying not to think about it and just tell myself, over and over, "They are going to healthy, they are going to healthy."
As for the placenta encapsulation, I finally sat down and discussed it with my doctor. I trust his opinion most of all and he did make a few points I wasn't able to have answered by the nutritionist. For example, my doc said that most of the hormones and nutrients would be lost or diminished during the drying out/cooking process. He also brought up the questions regarding procedure: how is it prepared? My close friend who did do it (and swore by it) had it prepared at her home since she birthed at home. I guess the worry about placental mix-up or whether or not the utensils were sanitized started to worry me more than anything. So, I am currently just researching some natural ways to alleviate possible PPD. In general, I think my entire attitude about this pregnancy is different, so I am hoping that will help me in the end. I am not afraid to ask for help, unlike during my recovery with Ainsley. I have made arrangements to have my father and stepmother come a few days after we are home to simply cook and clean and tend to Ainsley, which is a huge step on my part, if you know me. I know that I have to be healthy, both physically and mentally, for the well-being of my family, and I am going to fight to keep that my #1 priority during my recovery.
Overall, we are mostly ready, thanks to tons of donations and gifts from family and friends. Ainsley is very excited and said to me yesterday after preschool that "she missed her brothers" all day. Of course I went into the bathroom and cried. She is so sweet, I don't think we will have any issues whatsoever with her accepting them into our lives. And I know Mike and I will make her a priority during the process and not forget she needs her one-on-one time, too. I tentatively scheduled her birthday party at the end of March, a few weeks early, and am hoping my timing will work out and we won't have to change the date.
I have some great ultrasound pics of the boys, but my full name shows up in the pictures, so I am debating over whether I want that "out there". Not sure if it really matters, but I will think about posting them.