My husband and I wanted to add some adventure into our lives so we decided to start taking day trips with our family once a week. Once we started, we found out that there are tons of places to visit all within a 30min-2 hour long drive. This is definitely doable with 3 kids and a 32 week pregnant momma! It gives us something to look forward to and helps motivate us to get more work done during the week.
One of our first day trips was a visit to Blue Mounds State Park located in Luverne, MN. It was about a 2.5 hour long drive. Our day started off in the lake. Since we went on a weekday, we had the lake to ourselves most of the time! John caught some minnows and the kids made little swimming holes for them. We also saw some turtles on the shore of the lake. After swimming, we went on a short hike to some small cliffs. First thing the kids started doing was climb up them. Our youngest, 2.5 yrs old, just climbed up and never even looked back and did not want any help! The girls climbed up and believe it or not, I did to, even with my pregnant belly. Something about climbing and being out in the wide open makes you feel so free and is a great place to relax and slow down.
We had to watch out for cactus, I was the only one who stepped on one. Probably because I was watching out for the kids!
Birth, babies, breastfeeding! My favorite topics to talk about! That is my favorite part about my visits with my midwife, Nickie. We have a whole hour, usually more, to chat about my baby, birth, and pregnancy.
This will be our 3rd home birth. My first daughter age 6, was born naturally in the hospital with a midwife. I had a great experience there, but wanted to be even more in charge of my birth and go through labor in the comfort of my own home. There is nothing better than welcoming a new little life into the world while in my own home. The cuddles, breastfeeding, first kiss from older siblings, all happen there. It is priceless! I think going through labor is the most memorable experience and I wanted to make sure I had a positive and empowering memory of it.
We meet with our midwife just as often as you would with an OB. Instead of a hospital setting, it is a family friendly setting in her home office. Starting around the 36th week, she will travel to us for appointments until labor day arrives! She will also travel to our house for the post-partum visits. In the picture above, Nickie found the heart beat of my baby while using a fetoscope and I was able to hear it. My oldest daughter also got to hear it through the fetoscope. Her face just lit up!
What else to expect at a visit with a midwife? She measures my belly. This is called Fundal Height. It is a measure of the size of the uterus to assess fetal growth and development. It is measured from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus in centimeters and it should match your baby's gestational age, within one to three centimeters. She also checks the position of the baby and the heart rate. She checks my vital signs, checks a urine sample for the presence of sugar and protein, preforms minor lower back adjustments, we go over any questions or concerns I might have and much more. Another great thing about working with a midwife is after delivery of your baby, your relationship doesn't end. It continues to grow and you can rely on them for advice on your health, baby's health and your older children's health.
Childbirth has always been an interest of mine and when my oldest was about 6 months old, I completed a Doula training course. I was planning on finishing the certification process, but my life of being a mother took over. I still have plans on completing the certification process with the end result-- a long term goal of mine, of someday becoming a midwife.
Check back for more news on my pregnancy! Only about 5 more weeks to go or 3! You never know!